First of all, I must apologize for taking so long to blog. Sometimes life gets in the way, LOL. March 22, the cancer pain returned with fury. I called to get into the oncologist, and could not get an appointment to see him for a week. In the meantime the pain levels were not going down, so had to go to the ER for intervention. They gave me some relief and sent me home with a stronger prescription to manage the pain until I could get in to see the oncologist. The CEA levels were still fairly low, 58, so we are managing pain until we see him again in May. When chemo starts again, he is going to try a new protocol. More info on that to come.
This is one of my faves. A female Phainopepla
We have done several bird photographing trips, which I have posted on Facebook. Have gotten some fabulous shots and have plenty of reference photos to start a whole new round of paintings and drawings. In the meantime, I have still been working on Christmas Cards, gelli plate printing and have been working on metal embossing. You want to see photos?!?!?!? Ok, here are some photos!!!
Gelli Prints with old family photos attached. Turned them into greeting cards and sent to family members.
These will show up a lot better when I get some patina on them. They will make great book cover material!
Finally I will leave you with a few images from Boyce Thompson Arboretum.
If you build it……..they will come!
Got the Lab results last Wed, the CEA count is back up a little to 37. After visiting with the oncologist today, he is not really alarmed. We were hoping for under 10, so I am a little disappointed. However it will be what will be – so no point in borrowing trouble. We will just hope it stays in this range for a while. We have appointments for May to get blood-work and see the good Dr. again. In the meantime will be putting one foot in front of the other and getting some bird watching and art done in between sneezing from the seasonal allergies. It has been so warm this winter, the plants are convinced it is spring and they are springing with a vengence!
Today’s art exploration is: learning to wrap feathers with sinew to attach to the dreamcatchers. Sinew is now made with polyester and is heavily waxed, so no disgusting animal parts, LOL. Glad to live in the present hi tech world. The top feather is wrapped, then a silver cone bead was added…..the middle is plain sinew wrapping…and the bottom is wrapped with a copper cone bead added. I am sure my wrapping will get better as I go, since there are so many feathers on one dreamcatcher. Stay tuned….dreamcatcher coming!!!
Have to post the current Christmas card update….no I have not forgotten, and have kept up with the monthly quota. I have a total of 15 now! Wish the glitter showed up better in the photos, they do not look quite the same without it. Everything looks better with some bling!
Good luck with changing your clocks! We are so blessed to live in Arizona where we do not go through the “daylight savings change your clock twice a year.” That does not keep us from being confused about what time it is where you live though. So we do have sympathy pains with the whole “daylight savings” phenomena. The parrots all think clocks are for chewing on, so that is a good thing to them. The cats, as usual, are indifferent to the whole “time” concept. They only care about “meal time” because to them the rest of the time is “nap time.” Speaking of nap time, that sounds like a great idea……zzzz…..’til next time….zzzzzz.
The cards are still on track, also I have started a new project. I got all the ingredients together and made my own gelli plate. I have just started playing around with the process. It is fun! The gelli plate is made with gelatin, water, glycerin and alcohol. It provides a good surface for mono-printing. You put the paint, stencils, cutouts on the gel plate, then press the paper onto the plate to make a print. This is my first real experience with acrylics. Very different than watercolors! I have two of the gel plate cards in the photo, but am working on more. SO did anyone notice I put one of the cards upside down…..just checking to see if you are paying attention, LOL.
We just got back from the heart of Texas, where we visited with relatives and friends, ate a lot, visited some more, then ate a lot more. The weather was hot one day, cold the next, and windy the next. So it kept us guessing the whole time. I remembered how to say y’all, and saw some really pretty country. The trip was too short! Hopefully will be going back soon. In the meantime hubby got me a new camera lens for Valentine’s Day. It is the Tamron 600mm telephoto lens. I have been taking photos like crazy and putting them on Facebook. Still have tons more, but have to take time to process them. We are going to Sierra Vista to visit some of the birding hotspots, so will even have MORE to post soon.
On the cancer front, the side effects from chemo are slowly fading and I am getting my strength back. Next week is the blood work, then we get the results the following week during a visit with the oncologist. All has been quiet, just waiting for the results. Hope the CEA count is under 10, so I can have a nice rest from chemo!!!!
More cards and some photos to come, so stay tuned!!!!
Whoooo Hoooo! The hair is starting to grow back, I can see the hairline where it is getting thicker! About 1/4 inch, but it is hair, and eyebrows are starting to sprout! Maybe even eyelashes! A few more weeks and hats will be optional! The new saying for the year will be, “Live with passion!”
2016 Colored Pencil on Strathmore Paper
Here is the new installment of Christmas Cards for this year, LOL, I know it is still eleven months away, but it will take time to make enough to accommodate my mailing list!!! With my tendency to get thrown off course, I hope to keep focused long enough to finish this project. I am the one who walks into the room, forgets why I am there and go back where I started to see if it will come back into the ole memory. If not start a new project, do some parrot or kitty therapy, take a photo……..now where was I??????????
So we will have a break from chemo, and hopefully the side effects will slowly start wearing off. I expected to have a lot of energy this week, but didn’t happen yet, so maybe next week. Since it is the second round, it may take just a little longer to get my mojo back, but it will come, so the next weeks are really something to look forward to. Whooo Hooo to being able to get the nasty taste out of my mouth, get rid of chemo burn and nose running constantly.
On the art front, I got one piece juried into the Glendale Arts Council Show.
Wolf Dream Catcher on Black Velvet paper, embellished with feathers, fur, leather and beads.
It is a Wolf Dreamcatcher, and will be there until Sunday, Jan 24th. The show is open daily from 10Am to 5 PM. It is at Sahuaro Ranch Park, 59 Ave & Mountain View, in the old packing building just North of the main building and rose garden. If you live in the West Valley, you would really enjoy it, there are two rooms of great art. Speaking of Art, I have started a new project for the new year. Thinking of Christmas, I decided to make Hand Drawn Christmas Cards. If I do one a week , should have enough to send everyone on my Christmas list an original. They are 5″x7″ and will pop right into a frame, or can be matted and put into an 8″x10″ frame. SO here is a sneak preview of the first four cards.
On the pet therapy front, I got a couple of photos of Loki during our parrot therapy session. Thought you might enjoy! Oops, Loki is screaming, I mean Loki is calling me to do more parrot Therapy……Later!…..I am coming Loki……nuts, you want to be paid now…..I thought this was volunteer work……hmmmmm…
It was Jan 2015, then I blinked my eyes and it is 2016!!!! Where did 2015 go? This happens every year, but it seems like it happens faster each year! I know, I have been on this soap box before, but really how come time seems speeded up and when I was young, it seemed to drag on forever. All it takes is one art project and time goes into zen mode and I wake up a few days later with a completed project. Or it is chemo week, and I sleep the week away. LOL, I guess a lot of it went by while I was sleeping.
So this was the last chemo week for a while, the CEA count is down to 27 and we are praying really hard that it takes a big dive this month to get under 10. The hair is really in the baby grackle mode now, but in a few weeks it will start growing back. Speaking of hats, I was asked to post a few photos, so here they are, the latest style in chemo hats!
Blue Sparkly made by Debi Bell
The kitty, parrot and wild bird therapy continues, and I feel a little better every day. We are planning a Texas visit the family trip the first week in Feb, so I am looking forward to seeing everyone! George got a Weber Smoker for Christmas, so we have been treated to pulled pork and smoked brisket over the last couple of weeks. The AZ Cardinals are in the NFL playoffs, so we have some exciting times coming. Wishing you and yours a wonderful year to come!
Christmas With Family
Hope you have a purr-rect New Year, which brings you love, family, prosperity and lots of good stuff! As I reflect on 2015, I am grateful for my family and friends. It was a little difficult, but family and friends always came through, making it so much easier to get through two rounds of chemo, and one surgery. Family is healthy- art is flourishing,-and the parrots and kitties are all well, happy, and continuing with therapy. So the hair is almost gone, I am sporting the “baby grackle” look again, but it is a great time for hats. You never realize how your hair keeps your head warm until it is gone. Hooray for hats!!!
Here’s to 2016, the best year ever!!!!!
Dante’s kitty therapy session
Since I am always writing about kitty and bird therapy, I thought it would be good to post some kitty therapy photos.
See my tuxedo?
Cats sleep 20 plus hours a day, and my guys LOVE their mealtime……so I am very grateful that they can take some time in their BUSY schedules to volunteer for kitty therapy. LOL. Dante spends a little more volunteer time than Rusty, who is older and much wiser.
The first 3 photos are of Dante, laying on my chest, purring away. He is hard to photograph, because he is your basic scaredy cat.
Have you ever tried to get a shot of a cat laying on your chest without disturbing him or scaring him away, LOL. I have claw marks along with the photos! Next, I have posted a photo of Rusty with his version of kitty therapy. It looks like he can’t stay awake, but the purr motor is running on all cylinders!
He tends to hang out with hubby, and loves licking hubby’s head.
Just to show that I have been busy during my birthday present feeling good after chemo week: last but not least is the dreamcatcher I gave Candy for Christmas. Will be starting a new drawing this week, if I can work with winter dry skin split fingers. I have them all covered in liquid bandage, but it doesn’t stay on long, have to redo it almost every time I wash my hands. Think I will try the bag balm and wear gloves to sleep, maybe that will help. Not counting on chemo week next week to be as good as last week, so if I fall into Rip Van Winkle land next week and don’t blog, all of the flock and pride wish you all a Wonderful, Fabulous, Happy, Merry Christmas!
Yesterday, the Az Cardinals played football(yes they won!!) and Coach Arians was shown several times saying, “Tough times don’t last, tough people do.” The original quote is attributed to Gregory Peck, but I am sure this saying is a lot older. It reflects the spirit of optimism and hope, and is going to be one of my mantras during this battle against cancer. The current CEA count is 29.1, which is fast approaching our goal of under ten! Heading in the right direction! So when I am feeling sick from chemo, I can still say, “it is working, it is working!” Whoooo Hooooo! Only two more chemo treatments! However, I received the greatest birthday present this week. No nausea during this chemo week. It is the first time in almost one year of chemo treatments, and I have enjoyed it to the max! Take that cancer! Pow! Pow!
Rupert – Raven Dreamcatcher
Here is the Dreamcatcher I have been working on. Rupert is one of the ravens at Liberty Wildlife. He is quite the character and one of my favorite ravens ever. He talks in different voices and is just so intelligent! Barbara Delve(another Rupert devotee) took the photograph and was so kind as to let me use it for a reference for this special Dreamcatcher. Thanks so much Barb! This one went to Jan Miller as a big Thank You for all of her work at Liberty Wildlife, and her love and support during this cancer battle. Also a big Thank You to Margaret V for giving me a ride to Liberty to deliver Rupert. This was such a fun and special project, it is a blessing to be able to be involved in projects like this.
I have been having lots of kitty and parrot therapy and am felling well, with some tiredness. The guys have been really good, and I am wondering what they are really up to? SO if you figure it out, let me know!!!! Back to Rip Van Winkle land…….zzzzzzzzzzzz.
Whooooo Hooooo finished chemo number 9 today , leaving three to go!!!!! Almost over, and it is going fast. Cannot wait to be able to taste food again without this awful metallic taste in my mouth. Ok, so I lose the tan, but get my hair back!!!
Today’s drawing is only able to take place because of a friend of mine, Ashley F. She has loaned a very personal picture to me to draw, because I want to share this experience with all of you. Ashley was seeing her papa in the hospital, who was dying from cancer. She took a photo of them holding hands with her cell phone. It is beautiful and tells a story with no words. Ashley and I have agreed on the title, since this is the last time she saw him, we are calling it “Addio Dolce”or Sweet Farewell.
Many of us have to fight cancer or say goodbye to someone with cancer. There are so many kinds, this is a disease, which we must learn to conquer. It causes such emotional, physical and spiritual pain. Cancer does not make an appointment or knock on the door! It just lets itself in and it is up to find it. Be vigilant! Catch it early to give you the best odds of beating it…..now let’s go beat up cancer some more. Smile, laugh, enjoy life, each on of these actions in another POW POW to cancer!