Sunday, May 20, 2018

Update

Not a lot of crafting to report, because I am in Colorado beginning my Stem Cell Transplant for Multiple Sclerosis! We brought our kids with us for the first few days and got to do some sightseeing with them. We went to the Red Rocks Amphitheater, the Museum of Science and Nature, and the Butterfly Pavilion. So fun!



The kids went back to California with my parents. Unfortunately, the beginnings of my treatments got delayed a few days because of some ridiculous insurance nonsense (don't even get me started!). While the delay was frustrating, we did end up having some extra time to sightsee. Colorado is so beautiful. We loved Georgetown and the Arapahoe Nat'l Forest and went on a tour of a gold mine, too.

One "lemonade out of lemons" part of the insurance delay was that we were able to go home for Mother's Day. That was not in the plans, but we ended up getting to surprise our kids and spend the weekend together. Oh! And I dyed my hair purple in preparation for my upcoming chemo and hair loss. Might as well have some fun! 

We headed back to Colorado and I began treatments this week, with a perfect t-shirt from Kohls. I'm feeling bruised, puffy, exhausted, but most of all grateful. This treatment has the potential to change my life and the lives of my kids. 

I'm having some discomfort from some of the medication side effects, but we were able to visit the Botanical Gardens after one of my treatments. My wonderful husband has been my caretaker and pushed me around in a wheelchair so I could see the gardens. It was so good for me to take photos and feel creative. 



Friday, March 30, 2018

Rainbow Baby Quilt


One of our best friends recently welcomed their third daughter. I made her a baby quilt and finished it just in time for a trip to my husband's family cabin. It is the location of my favorite barn and so many beautiful spots, I had to bring the quilt along for photos. 
The fabric is the Lori Holt Bee Basics charm pack, with some purple added because purple is my favorite color and a rainbow needs purple. 

The background fabric is Riley Blake Bee Backgrounds Cross Stitch. (On a side note... I just found this honeycomb fabric while I was searching for the links - SO cute!!). 


 The backing is a very old print from IKEA, binding is a B&W polka dot. 


I love the pretty colors with the bright white background.  
I had SO much fun photographing this quilt at the cabin. I told my husband I may have to bring a bunch of quilts next time we go and do a full photo shoot. 

Peek-a-boo... I have been pretty open with my health struggles on this blog (I think?). I have multiple sclerosis and have difficulty walking. I went from the cabin to the barn to take photos and my son came with me. He said he was my "look-out" and was there to protect me. He was being playful and silly, but I think he really did get nervous seeing me walking away from everyone by myself. Sweet boy. 


 With my favorite barn in the background (also seen here and here). 
A photo of the four of us, soaking in Springtime at the cabin, one of our favorite places. 
If you're following along on my health journey, we are getting ready to begin my stem cell transplant in just a few weeks! I'm very excited for the chance to "restart" my immune system, but very nervous to be away from home and away from those faces for quite a while. It's a great opportunity for my health and our family and I am trying to keep that as my focus. I post more about this treatment and my updates on my You Caring page here: https://www.youcaring.com/jodie-bissig-436264


Tuesday, March 27, 2018

My Bookshelf (Lately)

I have been reading SO much. Part of that I credit to my bullet journal - it's fun to see the page filling up. I also am in a new Facebook group dedicated to reading and it's given me so many books for my wish list.

Anyway... I've read a few good ones lately and I thought I'd share here in case any of my blog readers are book readers, too.


The Bronze Horseman, by Paulina Simons. This one is actually a series and I wanted to read the rest immediately (Tatiana and Alexander is the 2nd book, The Summer Garden is the 3rd) . I'm saving them for my upcoming hospital stay (something to look forward to). I think at this point I would say this is my favorite book. It is over 800 pages and I read it in less than a week. I didn't want to put it down, I didn't want to sleep, I didn't want it to end. LOVED it.

The Alice Network, by Kate Quinn. This is such a great and empowering book about women in World War I and their unexpected roles and sacrifices.

The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson. I really liked this book and was kept in suspense with it's many twists and turns. I read a copy from the library, but ended up buying it so my husband can read it, too. It reminded me a bit of Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, which I also loved. It's a complicated story with lots of unexpected moments (and some dark, twisted minds!).

The Sound of Gravel by Ruth Wariner. This is a memoir about a young girl, born into a polygamist cult. Her story is unsettling, inspiring, and unforgettable. This book stayed with me for a long time... I kept thinking about her strength and life.

Next up - I'm in the middle of Beartown by Fredrik Backman (the author of A Man Called Ov, which I really enjoyed). On deck is Beneath a Scarlet Sky, An American MarriageLilac Girls, or Little Fires Everywhere.  If you have recommendations for me, please leave a comment! :)



Monday, March 26, 2018

Glass Workshops

I realized I never blogged about the glass blowing workshops I've been taking. The most recent was to make these Easter Eggs, and our whole family got to attend.

From left: my son, my daughter, my husband, and me. 

My mother-in-law and her boyfriend's eggs, too. 

Here are some photos from the previous classes I've taken. This pumpkin is, for sure, my favorite. 
Even the bottom of the pumpkin is pretty!


Christmas ornament class...


Glass heart paperweight class... 



My husband, mother-in-law, and kids got to make ornaments, too. They went in JULY, which we all decided is not the ideal time of year to work with hot glass. It was brutal. 

It wasn't planned, but with my purple one, we have a lovely rainbow.  :) 

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Hand Lettering

Last weekend I took a Modern Calligraphy class! I loved it! I've dabbled in pretty writing and painting, but it was fun to try out actual soft brushed pens and learn actual techniques instead of just winging it. The practice pages were a bit mesmerizing and I instantly fell in love with these pens
Those S's! 
And some practice words to connect the letters. Love!
At the end of the workshop, we used our new skills and paint pens to make a canvas. I am a little overwhelmed with my upcoming stem cell transplant and the idea of being away form my kids and home for so long.  I'm hoping this quote will serve as a reminder that this is worth it for me and my kids. They deserve a healthy mama. 
 I practiced my lettering on my daughter's birthday invitations. She's turning twelve soon! (WHAT?!)

Friday, January 5, 2018

Bullet Journal

My life is a bit crazy right now! I recently won my insurance battle and will be heading to Denver in a few months for a life-changing stem cell transplant that has the promise to stop my multiple sclerosis. This is such a blessing! But... I'm also panicking a bit. It's going to be a BIG couple of months for me and very difficult to be away from my kids for 8-10 weeks (hopefully with visits, of course!). Click here to read more about my clinical trial participation (and, if you'd like, donate to help our family with this very expensive adventure). Anyway... I am a chronic over thinker and this is a lot to process. 


I've been distracting myself with a new project - bullet journaling! I am a huge fan of lists and always have a million going. Bullet journaling is (for me), a way to make my lists pretty! I originally saw this trend on Pinterest and there are so many ideas out there! 

The book I am using is linked here. It's nice quality, has a very pretty cover, and you just can't beat that price! I use Flair Pens and they don't smear, they don't bleed, and the colors are adorable. They're great for drawing and have been a favorite for writing for over 15 years. They make my handwriting look so much neater and come in so many pretty colors. Have I mentioned all the colors?  :) 


The first page I made is to track my photos. I store my images in monthly folders and back them up at the end of each month. I am meticulous (ridiculous?) in my photo storage! My pictures are my most prized possession. Now at the end of the month, I can check off each box and know that I've completed my ritual of over-protecting pictures of my kids. I can't find the exact washi tape I used at the top, but I did just find this one that I am so wishing I had used instead!  CUTE!

The second page I added is a "book shelf." So far I've only added books I've read this year (P.S. If you haven't already, read The Alice Network! So good!), but I may add books on my wish list, too? Not sure yet. I LOVE how this page turned out. It was pretty easy to make because of the dot grid on the journal pages.  
I also added some of my favorite things on the "shelves." 

This is our "House Projects" page. Mostly a dreamer's wish list since this year will likely only have room for my stem cell transplant and recovery, but it's a fun page nonetheless. Someday...

My craft list is always growing! Love the washi tape on this page. 


 My wish list page has a similar design using washi tape. I LOVE washi tape. 

 A travel page detailing the states I've traveled to. Is it obvious I'm a West Coast girl? Once I'm healthy again, I think we need to head East for some adventures! I printed a US map and traced it onto this page in black ink and then used color pens to mark the states I have visited. 

I'm not sure what other pages I'll add, but I'm having fun and it's an excellent distraction. 

Thanks for visiting!


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