Friday, February 17, 2017

Life in the Last Year!

Here we go again!

I have got to find a way to remember I have this blog! Just found it again and of course, as I've said repeatedly in previous blog posts, I don't remember having written/posted these things. So will give you as much of an update as I can as to what's happened since the last blog.

The art room never got organized, even after we moved in July of 2016. I did, however, find things I didn't remember having! Haha! Jackpot! Haha! What, you ask, did I find? Yeah, not a clue, but I remember saying that to the gal who helped me pack for the move several times, “Wow! I wonder where this came from!” hahaha!

So, as I said, we moved from our house to a two bedroom apartment. No more shoveling or caring for the lawn! Yay! However, WHAT A DISASTER! Moving for someone with short-term memory loss, is insane! I search constantly for things, but finding stuff in the kitchen is getting easier. However, yesterday, I needed my rolling pin to roll out a pie crust! Yeah! It wasn't in the kitchen, it was in the art room! There are boxes in the art room, but I have no idea what is in them. So, will work on that after I get over being sick, which I am now. I'm also sick of being sick! This is week three of being sick! (Feeling grumpy).

Another reason for not tackling the art room is because in December of 2016 and January of 2017, I had carpel tunnel surgery in both wrists and had a trigger thumb released in my left hand. On the final recheck with the surgeon, he informed me that I have rheumatoid arthritis in my right thumb that will require trigger thumb surgery eventually which is a repeat of what happened in my left thumb. Comes from years of using my hands I guess or can be inherited from a parent. However my mom doesn't have arthritis in her hands, so it must be my craftiness that caused mine.

Something good that came out of the surgery though is, that my hands are no longer numb! Yay! It had gotten quite bad right before the surgery. I was no longer able to sleep because the numb hands were intensely painful. I know, that doesn't make sense, but numb means tingling and sharp pains that shoot into your hands and fingers out of nowhere! Just suddenly, a zinger (as I call it) shoots into the hands. After we moved, it got so bad that we almost went to the emergency room because if felt like lightning bolts were shooting from my elbows into my hands. It was so bad that I couldn't even sit down and I was pacing and freaking out. But my husband remembered something that was done in the past that relieved pain, so he took hold of my wrists and slowly pulled down on them from different angles and soon the pain subsided to a pain level I could handle. That's what led to testing and surgery. I am so thankful that the pain and numbness is now gone!

A sad note, a month before we moved, our 11 year old cat died. She was the talker and followed me around daily, meowing (talking) to me all day long. She was so cute! She was petite and so beautiful! She was an orange tiger cat with orange eyes. I miss her very much.  Her sister is still alive and has since taken over the daily talking routine! Haha! What a cutie! She will be 12 years old in May.

I also didn't update to tell you all that we now have a grandson. He is now 16 months old. He is completely adorable and has a great sense of humor! Here are some pictures to update! Hehehe, grandma's have to share these, it's a law! Hahahaha!

My first time with my new grandson who was born October 2016.

What a great sense of humor this boy has!

This is one of my favorites!  Graham and his cat Moe who was checking out this new creature!

Graham and his dog who is deaf, Beethoven

I love the way Graham put his hand on grandpa's shoulder when laughing!  That was hysterical!

Our cute little Toy Story cutie!

We also inherited two other grandchildren, Willow-8 and Zayden-10 in September.

There you go!  My big butt, my daughter and my new granddaughter!

Aren't they cute! :)

Okay, so the last update is the new craft I have begun to learn and do, and that is Quilling! Quilling is something that I have completely avoided for many years because it just looked too hard to do! But, I put aside the fear of failure and bought a quilling kit on and fell in love with the art! So I will show you a few things I have done! Hopefully, if I remember this blog is here, I will show you more in the future!

I can tell you that the toes on those feet can shoot across the room without warning when assembling the feet!  The cat had a blast running after them! Luckily she didn't swallow them! haha!

Here I put things I quilled into my grandson's first birthday card that I bought. 

 This I call "the nervous breakdown tree" because it was extremely hard to put all these little pieced together without shooting them across the room! 

The following are the envelopes of cards I gave to family members for Christmas.  These weren't mailed though, the post office would throw them out if I did that! haha!

So there you have it!  An update of 2016 into 2017!  My wrists are mostly healed, but it will take time before I can lean on a table to get up out of a chair or clap! haha!  Every day I stretch the nerves, hands and wrists and in a month or two I'm sure they will be 100%  

Always remember, you may have limitations and ailments, but there's always hope!  You just have to learn how to do things differently!  Sometimes it's frustrating, but when you find a way to overcome something, it's time to celebrate and praise God for that wonderful day!

Hope to write more soon!
Sincerely Me,

LuAnn Marie

Monday, March 28, 2016

It has been quite some time since I've been here.  I can't seem to remember I have this avenue of creative expression.  It so gets on my nerves!  But thanks to She Writes, and emails from them, I have found this blog again!  It seems I haven't been here since 2014, but it truly doesn't feel like that long to someone who has memory issues.  To me, it seems I haven't been here for  a few months, not years.

Right now, what I'm dealing with is a move.  We are moving because my husband's heart health has gone downhill and my spine issues have gotten worse.  We can no longer maintain our acre of land due to these limitations.  So we are getting ready to move to an apartment and allow others to do those things for us.  I am not sure how I will survive this move, because when things are moved around, I have no memory of them.  I found this out when my daughter came and thought it would be great to rearrange things in my writing area and move all my reference books that didn't seem important to her, to a different place.  I had no idea how bad my memory loss was until those things were moved.  I was distraught for several days after that and all my reference books I was using in writing my book were gone and I have no idea where they are.  This move is going to be quite a challenge.  It's taken us eight years to set things in place where I could function at a seemingly normal level in my home and moving to a new place will be quite an experience I'm sure!

Yes, I'm writing a book which in itself is quite comical I must say, but also extremely frustrating.  From one day to the next, I have no memory of what I wrote, so I have to review what I was writing the day before so I can continue to write today.  I am writing a book talking of my thoughts and God thought it would be awesome if I checked out if my random thoughts matched up with what His word, the Bible, said!  Believe it or not, I was actually convicted of some shortcomings of my own, just by reviewing what I had written!  It's a great least that what I say every time I reread it! haha!  I am completely convinced that God has a huge sense of humor, because He watches me daily being amused by things I struggle with due to this memory loss and He laughs with me, then holds me on those days when I don't find my memory loss so amusing.

We are to overcome obstacles in our lives, not fold under them or throw tantrums and blame God because things may be hard.  He looks for us to learn from His Son Jesus Christ, as to how to continue, even in the worst of circumstances.  So I use Jesus as my example and work toward being the best me I can be in order to glorify Him and all He has done for me!

Well folks, nice chatting with you again!  I hope you missed me!  I hope I'll remember I have this blog so I can continue to share with you the twists and turns in life.  Stay joyful, trust in the Lord for all things, and laugh instead of cry!  Your days will go so much better that way!

LuAnn Marie

Monday, July 7, 2014

Getting Ready for a Craft Show

Hi Folks!

So, Labor Day weekend is fast approaching and I have a booth booked at our Labor Day Craft Show here in the big town of Redgranite!  Whooo hooo!  Last time I did this was in the beginning of the recession and I had like 4 sales!  Many seasoned crafters had the same results, so it wasn't just inexperienced me!  The question is...what things should I do to get ready for a craft show that is a success, not a failure?

The first thing I did was invest in a credit card scanner through Intuit.  I chose Intuit's credit card scanner because there is no monthly charge, it charges a percentage for each sale and it sends receipts to the patron through their email.  This credit card scanner attaches directly to my iPhone!  I have unlimited talk, text and web on my iPhone, so we're good to go!  I did do a test scan, and it worked great!  Yay!

Now figuring out what to sell.  If I sell paintings, I will have to frame them and have a peg board contraption.  I have a lot of things to sell, but not sure which to put out.  It is close to fall, so maybe I should focus on fall and Christmas things.

Decisions, decisions, decisions!

Sincerely Me,
LuAnn Marie

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

There are Days! (ok, for me weeks or years)

Hi folks!

Sooooo, just discovered I had this account!  There are days that I get so irritated with this short-term memory loss, because I don't remember I have a account.  Apparently, I haven't been here since March of 2013!  Kinda don't really remember being there then, but will reread my own blogs posted to find out what I had to say!

I have been quite lax on working on my art and on organizing my art room!  When I come to start to organize the room, it is so overwhelming to me that I pack it back up and leave the room!  I just have to stop doing that!  So, for as long as I remember, I will start to try to hanker down on getting back to my art work and organizing my little room!  (I hope I can remember that!!!!).

Ok, so for today, I can't write more than this because I am quite wiped out after a super busy day!  So will work on remembering to post more within a day or two.

Thanks for your patience!

LuAnn Marie

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Well folks, spent the last couple of weeks dealing with two flu type things and major pain from the change in weather and snow in our area.  I don't know if you know this, but I can tell you when a storm is coming days before it gets here!  What an irritating ability!  But, having the spine of a 90 year old when you're only 52 will do that to you!

So, I blogged last time about making the light box.  I have taken pictures within that  light box and I'm quite impressed.  I concentrated on the "white" background first, so that is what I have to show you right now.  Once I get completely over the stomach flu I have now, I'll take pictures with different backgrounds to show how something can be enhanced or even declined in the value of the view.

First I want to tell you that lighting was a disaster and I had to move the lighting around for several pictures, but I don't remember which ones!  I probably should write things down when they are happening!  Yep, I think that might be a great idea since I can't remember the details minutes later!

So here is a series of pictures taken, please let me know the "goods" and the "bads" that you may think of when seeing these pictures because I really would like to know before I post these on Etsy!

The first 3 are acrylic paints; The next set of 10 are wood burned, then painted; The last are acrylic paints on buckets (small buckets, but could be done on larger buckets as well and could be done for outside with outdoor or glossy paints).

Now all the pics seem to have a color appearing instead of just being white in the background, which wasn't there when I took the pics. I do think it may be a reflection of the colors of the pieces themselves interacting with the light applied to it.  Whatever it is, if I wanted a whiter look, I would have to find multiple ways of lighting up the box instead of just over the top to get rid of shadows that to me seemed light, but in the picture, appear darker. I could put a bulb coming in the sides of the box that were there as handles, even under the cloth if they don't get hot that is!  Don't want any fires!

I have others to take pictures of as well, but will also try other background colors to show how a little color behind and under the item can change the hue and the feeling about what is being seen. 

So that's it for today!
Have a great Easter & an awesome day! :)
LuAnn Marie

Friday, March 15, 2013

Light Box

I have been working on several things this past week and a half or so!  The art room is now just looking like a disaster instead of a major disaster, so that's taking shape! haha  And I have been working on creating a light box in which to take more professional looking photos for things I want to post on, 
my shop to sell my creations!  And no, I don't have any items listed right now, so wait until I get some pictures taken and items listed before you go there :)  BUT, when I tell you items are there, GO THERE and buy something!!! hehehe  So the light box is what I'd like to talk of today!

I have tried to take pictures over and over and over again with multitudes of different types of cameras and the pictures turn out to be distant and not clear as to what is painted on them.  I listed things on etsy and did not have great success but did try to blame it on the recession instead of my lack of picture taking skills and salesmanship! I am an avid online reader!  If I have a problem, I will search out help and look through hundreds of webpages before I find something that actually works.  I'm like a blood hound who won't give up!  This time, I didn't find one particular thing that worked for me, so I kind of made up my own!  :) hehe  So, if you are one who loves to do DIY projects, this will definitely be exciting for you!  It was very exciting for me to create! 

Step 1:  Find a box that is big enough for most of the things you need to take pictures of.  We can create a larger box later for the larger things we need to take pictures of, but I haven't yet worked those steps out yet, so that will come in the future!

The box I found was my kitty litter box!  No, not the box that actually had kitty litter in it, although I would imagine if you cleaned it out so no dust existed in it, you could use that if it were big enough! haha!  We buy Fresh Step clumping kitty litter that has two boxes contained in one big box!  So that's what I chose to make the light box out of.

Step 2:  Open the box so it lays flat. And Step 3:  Paint inside of the box with white paint.  This paint must be a flat paint, not gloss, and can be either indoor house paint or art paints of some kind. I used acrylic paint.

 Step 4:  The box has to have an open end on it which is how you will take the pictures.  This means you are going to have to cut off one of the flaps.  Save it though, because we're going to use it later!

Step 5:  Now we're going to cut the little flap on the other end off to get it out of the way!

Step 6:  It is time to tape this puppy up!  I'm using painter's masking tape because it is all I have in the house!  You could use a white duct tape which would most likely work better, but since I have to travel about 30 miles round trip to get some, I'm just going to use the blue tape!  Yes, I live in Hicksville, USA and have to drive far to get to a store!  Just make sure no tape goes onto the white paint.

Step 7:  Now slide the extra large flap you cut off over the the folded flaps that was the bottom of the box which looks yucky instead of smooth.  If you lay your box down, it will be the bottom of the box where your camera may sit if you're talented (I'm not, so I have to set it on the table hehe), or it can be the backdrop of your box if you set it up in a different direction, which I did here.

Step 8:  Now, the inside can be used as is, but there may be a couple of slits that you can see through because of the way the box is made and the holes for carrying the box when it was a cat litter carrier, so we want to cover those up.  So here is a couple of ideas:

a.  You can either get white poster board and cut it to shape and have it a solid piece that goes around the box on the inside (you don't want the lines of different sheets of paper showing in your pictures. Sorry, no pictures of this because, again, I would have to drive to get poster board and I'm too lazy!).

b.  You could also get some cheese cloth and cut it so it drapes from the top of the box down to the bottom of the box (you probably would need six sheets cut if it is the thinner stuff I have and I kept it doubled so the slits wouldn't show through, and I put a couple of sheets on the bottom of the box as well.  You will want to take a few pictures of items to sell with this treatment on to make sure it doesn't wash out your item.  It gives a wispy or vapory look.  Check out the picture below.

c.  Keep the cheese cloth in place and use a scarf or a runner to change the look or bring out certain colors in the piece.

Step 9:  You have to come up with a way to light the box.  What I did was take an old lamp, broke the bottom off of it to use the cord and bulb socket.  Again, I did this because I had a lamp laying around that was so ugly that I knew I'd never use it again, but also, you guessed it, I didn't feel like driving to get an auto fixing light or something! haha!

I then had a wreath holder for when I sold wreaths at art fairs.  So I hooked the light on the wreath holder and put it above the box.  The light caused a bit of a shadow on the bottom, so I put a couple of layers of wax paper over the top of the box (don't have a picture of this, sorry, but do have one without the wax paper) and that seemed to calm the shadows down.

Ok, so this is a really sucky picture, but you get the point!  I read that you could put the wax paper around the light bulb, but it seemed a bit hot to me, so I chose not to do that and instead lay the layers of wax paper on top of the box instead. 

 So there you have it, my photo box!  I have a lot of pictures to take now, each may have a different background type!  It will be nice to have some pictures that look more professional and not like my cat was standing next to the item waiting to walk in front of the camera!  haha!  I hope this will inspire you to get creative and DIY some projects you thought you couldn't do!  :)

LuAnn Marie
(ignore the piles behind me!  Ok, so now you know, I'm a pile person! haha)