Friday, May 25, 2018

The Stamp Simply Ribbon Store - Spring Summer 2018 Coffee Lovers Blog Hop

Hello and good morning to everyone!  Today, I have a card to share with you that I designed for The Stamp Simply Ribbon Store.  But I am also participating in the Spring Summer 2018 Coffee Lovers Blog Hop so my card goes along with the summertime theme for the hop.  


Anyone can participate in the Spring Summer 2018 Coffee Lovers Blog Hop and there are loads of wonderful prizes too!  You can click HERE to find out all of the details and join in the fun.


Flowers always make me think of summertime.  Here is the card I designed for the Coffee Lovers Blog Hop.  I used some of the beautiful pattern papers from the Graphic 45 Fairie Dust 8 x 8 Paper Pad.  To die cut the coffee cup I used the Stamp Simply Steel Dies - Coffee or Tea? SS-DIE011 and a piece of the pretty floral pattern paper and also Bazzill Gold Mirror Cardstock.  I wanted the cup to have some gold accents.  I die cut both the cup and the handle with the gold mirror cardstock.  Then I cut the cup die cut in half and offset it with the floral die cut cup so the top and bottom edges would be accented with gold.


Here you can see a close up of the coffee cup.  I added Foam Tape to the backside of the cup for some added dimension.  I added some  Petaloo Botanica Collection Baby Blooms Purple and Minis Coral for embellishments.


For the sentiment I die cut the word coffee from black card stock three times and then layered the die cuts.  Using VersaMark Ink I stamped the sentiment from Stamp Simply Clear Stamps - Coffee or Tea? SS-023 on to a piece of black card stock and then heat embossed it using Ranger Super Fine White Embossing Powder and my heat tool.  I fussy cut the fishtail end and added some foam tape to pop the sentiment up.  I also added another flower by the sentiment.


I knew I wanted to use the beautiful pattern paper with the violets for the background.  But I wanted to soften it a bit so the coffee cup would still stand out and not get lost in the background paper so I added a piece of Vellum as a top layer.  I love how you can still see the pattern paper but it really softened the look.  I used a white A2 top folding card base for this card.



Sharon, is having a sale over at The Stamp Simply Ribbon Store on ALL items in the Coffee/Tea section so if you're looking for some new goodies I encourage you to check it out.  If you would like to see more card inspiration be sure to visit The Stamp Simply Blog.  Thanks so much for stopping by today!

I hope you all have a wonderful and safe Memorial Day and holiday weekend!

Love, hugs, and blessings,
Heidi



Supplies
Stamps:  Stamp Simply Clear Stamps - Coffee or Tea? SS-023
Paper:  Graphic 45 Fairie Dust 8 x 8 Paper Pad, Vellum, Bazzill Gold Mirror Cardstock, Cardstock - White, Black
Ink:  VersaMark Ink
Dies:  Stamp Simply Steel Dies - Coffee or Tea? SS-DIE011
Accessories:  Ranger Super Fine White Embossing Powder, Ranger Glossy Accents, Petaloo Botanica Collection - Baby Blooms Purple, Minis Coral, Scrapbook Adhesive by 3L EZ Runner, Foam Tape

Friday, May 11, 2018

The Stamp Simply Ribbon Store - Best Wishes to the Graduate Card

Hello and good morning to everyone!  This past week seems like it just flew by.  Here where we live the kids only have one week of school left.  Where did the year go?  Can't believe our youngest will be a junior next year!  The graduation open houses are starting right away next weekend so I am trying to get graduation cards done so they will be ready to go.


This isn't a traditional looking graduation card but I love how it turned out.  I used some of the beautiful papers from the  Kaisercraft - Wandering Ivy collection.  I just love these papers!  The images are so pretty and Kaiseercraft never disappoints.  


For the sentiment I used one of the tags from the back of the paper pad.  It originally said -- Best Wishes to You.  I wanted to cover up the -- to You part on the tag and add To the Graduate so I created a banner.  I used a piece of black cardstock and prepped it with the EK Success Powder Tool.  Then I stamped the sentiment from the Stamp Simply Clear Stamps - Scripture for Graduation & Beyond SS-028 stamp set using VersaMark Ink.  Next, I applied Ranger Super Fine Embossing Powder - White and used my heat tool to melt and heat set the powder.  I fussy cut fishtail ends on the strip of cardstock to create the banner.  I added some beautiful May Arts 1.5" Sheer Flower w/Pearl Center - Blue ribbon around the card and then I added the tag and banner on top.  I added Foam Tape to both the tag and banner to add some dimension to the card.  To finish off the card I added some Prima Flowers - Serenade Blue and some My Mind's Eye Blue Enamel Dots.


I adhered all of the layers to a white A2 top folding card base and that finished off the card.  This paper collection is full of tags and other cut outs that are similar to the one I used on my card and can very easily be changed up by creating a banner sentiment to go along with them.  

Thanks so much for stopping by today and I hope you enjoyed the card share!  All of the supplies used to create the card are listed and linked below and can be found at The Stamp Simply Ribbon Store.  If you would like to see more card inspiration from the design team I encourage you to visit the Stamp Simply Blog.

I hope you have a wonderful day and happy Friday!

Hugs, love and blessings,
Heidi 


Supplies
Stamps:  Stamp Simply Clear Stamps - Scripture for Graduation & Beyond SS-028
Paper:  Kaisercraft - Wandering Ivy, Cardstock - White, Black
Ink:  VersaMark Ink
Ribbon:  May Arts 1.5" Sheer Flower w/Pearl Center - Blue  
Accessories:  Ranger Super Fine Embossing Powder - White, EK Success Powder Tool, Prima Flowers - Serenade Blue, My Mind's Eye Blue Enamel Dots, Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L - EZ Runner, Foam Tape, Heat Tool

Friday, April 27, 2018

The Stamp Simply Ribbon Store - Wishing You All The Best Card

Hello everyone and Happy Friday!  I hope you have all been having a wonderful week.  I am excited for this weekend--it's going to be in the 70s here.  :)  I had the windows open the other day and the nice warm fresh air felt so good.  Today, I have a card to share with you using another new stamp set from The Stamp Simply Ribbon Store April Release.


Here is a look at the card I designed.  I used one of the sentiments from the All Occasion Sentiments Set 1 SS-030 stamp set.  Did you know there are now 30 wonderful stamp sets in the Stamp Simply Clear Stamps Collection?  All of the holidays and special occasions are covered and the stamp sets are filled with so many beautiful sentiments and Scriptures.  For my card I used some really pretty papers and die cuts from the  Kasiercraft - Miss Betty 6-1/2'' Paper Pad and Miss Betty Collectibles Die Cuts.  I love this collection!


I wanted to heat emboss the sentiment so I prepped the paper with the EK Success Powder Tool.  Then, I stamped the sentiment using the Tim Holtz Stamp Platform and VersaMark ink on to one of the die cuts.  I added Ranger Super Fine Detail Gold Embossing Powder and used a heat tool to melt and heat set the powder.  Next, I used a Ranger Mini Ink Blending Tool along with the Tim Holtz Distress Oxide Ink - Antique Linen and very lightly inked the edges of the die cut piece and the pattern paper.


Then, I lightly inked the edges of the flowers and butterfly die cuts using the Delicata - Golden Glitz ink.  I love the hint of golden shimmer this ink leaves on the paper.


I used the Zig Wink of Stella Clear Glitter Brush Pen to color in the rose image on the die cut.


Once I had all of the inking and shimmer added then it was time to assemble the card and it came together really quick.  I layered the couple pieces of pattern paper and then added the rose card die cut to the center.  I used Foam Tape to adhere all of the die cuts and add some dimension to the card.


The gold embossing and soft pink are so pretty on this card.


Here you can see some of the shimmer from the gold ink.


Everything was adhered to a ivory A2 top folding card base.  Then, for one last little bit of sparkle and to finish off the card I added a few Prima Say It In Crystals Heaven Sent.  These crystals are gorgeous and full of sparkle!

Thanks so much for stopping by today!  All of the supplies are listed and linked below and can be found at The Stamp Simply Ribbon Store.  To see more card inspiration I encourage you to check out the Stamp Simply Blog.  I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Love, hugs, and blessings,
Heidi



Supplies
Stamps:  Stamp Simply Clear Stamps - All Occasion Sentiments Set 1 SS-030
Paper:  Kasiercraft - Miss Betty 6-1/2'' Paper Pad, Miss Betty Collectibles Die Cuts
Ink:  VersaMark, Tim Holtz Distress Oxide Ink - Antique Linen, Delicata - Golden Glitz, Zig Wink of Stella Clear Glitter Brush Pen
Accessories:  Tim Holtz Craft Mat, Tim Holtz Stamp Platform, Ranger Super Fine Detail Gold Embossing Powder, EK Success Powder Tool, Ranger Mini Ink Blending Tool, Prima Say It In Crystals Heaven Sent, Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L EZ Runner, Foam Tape, Heat Tool 

Friday, April 20, 2018

The Stamp Simply Ribbon Store - CAS For the Graduate Card - Wedding Anniversary

Hello everyone and happy Friday!  This week just seems like it kind of flew by.  It's still not Spring here in Minnesota.  Can't believe it but we got more snow this week and the kids even had a snow day!  The second snow day in the month of April.  BUT it's supposed to start warming up next week.  Keeping my fingers crossed!  Today, I have another graduation card to share with you using one of the new stamp sets from The Stamp Simply Ribbon Store April release.


Today's card is very CAS (Clean And Simple) but that's a good thing.  As the end of the school year approaches and the weather warms up I know people's schedules get even busier.   So being able to create CAS cards is a must for a lot of people.  The beautiful papers are from the Kaisercraft - Cottage Rose collection.  I layered a couple of the pattern papers and then stamped a sentiment from the  Stamp Simply Clear Stamps - Scripture for Graduate & Beyond SS-028 stamp set in the upper left corner.  I used Memento Tuxedo Black ink to stamp the sentiment.  


Next, I layered some Venise Lace 1.75" - Gabriella White and 1/4'' Rose Ringlet Trim across the front of the card.  For embellishments I added a few Petaloo - Botanica Collection Baby Blooms White flowers.


To finish off the card and add some dimension I added Foam Tape behind the layers of pattern paper and that finished the card.  The card base is a white A2 side folding landscape card.

I hope you enjoyed today's card share.  The Kaisercraft - Cottage Rose paper pad is filled with so many beautiful papers that make creating CAS cards a breeze.  All of the products used to create the card are listed and linked below and can be found at The Stamp Simply Ribbon Store.  If you would like to see more card designs and inspiration I encourage you to check out the Stamp Simply Blog.

Before I go I want to wish my husband, Eric a very Happy Anniversary!  Today, is our wedding anniversary and we've been married for 16 years.  Where has all the time gone?  It seems like just yesterday we were young and dating lol.  I am truly blessed to have such a wonderful, caring, loving, and supportive husband! 

Thanks for stopping by!  I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Much love, hugs, and blessings,
Heidi


Supplies
Stamps:  Stamp Simply Clear Stamps - Scripture for Graduate & Beyond SS-028
Paper:  Kaisercraft - Cottage Rose, Cardstock - White
Ink:  Memento Tuxedo Black
Ribbon:  Venise Lace 1.75" - Gabriella White, 1/4'' Rose Ringlet Trim
Accessories:  Petaloo - Botanica Collection Baby Blooms White, Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L - EZ Runner, Foam Tape, Hot Glue

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

GRADUATION & BEYOND BLOG HOP - Stamp Simply Clear Stamps

Welcome to our Graduation & Beyond BLOG HOP today. We have many projects to share showcasing two of the sets in our NEW April Release - Graduation Sentiments and Scripture for Graduation & Beyond. With these 2 sets your options for cards for so many types of celebratory and congratulatory events are limitless.  Combine them with images, sentiments or Scripture from our other sets and the sky is the limit!


Here is the card I designed using the Stamp Simply Clear Stamps - Graduation Sentiments SS-029 stamp set.  Graduation time is just around the corner and both of the new stamp sets are filled with fantastic sentiments and Scriptures.  For the pattern paper I used a couple of sheets from the Authentique - Dapper collection.  The school colors for our high school are cherry and blue so this paper was perfect.  I thought black and ivory would make a nice accent colors and tie everything together.  I embossed the top portion of a piece of ivory cardstock using the Darice Graduation Hat Background Embossing Folder.  Then I stamped part of the sentiment on the bottom of the cardstock using Memento Tuxedo Black Ink.  For the congrats banner I used a piece of black cardstock and treated it with the EK Success Powder Tool and then I used VersaMark Ink for the stamping.  I applied Stampendous Super Fine Embossing Powder - Detail White and used my heat tool to melt and set the embossing powder.  I added 3D Foam Squares to the back of the banner and adhered it to the stamped and dry embossed ivory cardstock and then trimmed the edges.


I used the Cherry Lynn Designs - Graduation Set of dies to create the hat and diploma die cuts with black cardstock.  I added a black enamel dot from the My Mind's Eye - Record It! Charmed Enamel Dots to the center of the hat.  I also added some enamel dots for embellishments from the My Mind's Eye - Necessities Teal Enamel Dots.


I added some 3D Foam Squares to the piece of ivory cardstock, the hat, and the diploma to add some dimension to the card.


The card base is a black A2 top folding card.  Both of these new stamp sets will be great to create quick and easy graduation cards with wonderful sentiments and Scriptures.

Please be sure to visit all of the blogs for today's blog hop!

Sharon Johnson (The Stamp Simply Blog)




Heidi Blankenship *you are here :)

     
All of the supplies used to create the card are listed and linked below and can be found over at The Stamp Simply Ribbon Store.

Thanks so much for stopping by today!

Much love, hugs, and blessings,
Heidi


Supplies
Stamps:  Stamp Simply Clear Stamps - Graduation Sentiments SS-029
Paper:  Authentique - Dapper, Cardstock - Black, Ivory
Ink:  Memento Tuxedo Black Ink, VersaMark Ink
Dies:  Cherry Lynn Designs - Graduation Set 
Accessories:  Darice Graduation Hat Background Embossing Folder, Stampendous Super Fine Embossing Powder - Detail White, My Mind's Eye - Record It! Charmed Enamel Dots (black on hat), My Mind's Eye - Necessities Teal Enamel Dots, EK Success Powder Tool, Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L EZ Runner, 3D Foam Squares, Heat Tool 

Friday, April 13, 2018

The Stamp Simply Ribbon Store - Just a Note Farmhouse Signage Card

     Hello everyone!  How's your week been?  Have you been busy crafting and creating?  My week seems like it just flew by.  I have been working on a lot of projects with resin ranging from jewelry to abstract art.  I promise I will be sharing some pictures soon.  :)  As I mentioned in a previous post we are doing some renovations to our house so we have been busy with that too.  We need to have some work done in our basement and the company came out today to look at it and give us an estimate.  I am happy to say they will be starting the work in May.  We are pretty excited to get going on this project.  I have also been trying to squeeze in some paper crafting time and working on getting back in the swing of things.  I am back to doing my regular Friday posts for The Stamp Simply Ribbon Store so I have a card to share with you today.  Before I share my card I wanted to say thank you to everyone who has left comments, IM's and emails for my life updates post.  If you missed it you can click HERE to read it.  I truly appreciate all of your kind words, prayers, encouragement and support and also for the stories you have shared with me.  I am happy to say the ointment I talked about for the fibro pain is still working!  I still have pain but the level of pain is so much lower.  :)


     Here is a look at the card I designed for The Stamp Simply Ribbon Store.  I used one of the newer Stamp Simply Clear Stamps - Farmhouse Signage.  I am really loving all of the farmhouse decor I am seeing in the stores these days.  It's very simplistic, fresh, pretty, rustic and sometimes a little industrial.  I'm really leaning to redo our kitchen in the farmhouse style when the time comes to start working on it.  The pattern papers I used are from the Kaisercraft - Sea Breeze collection.  I love the aqua blue tones in the paper pad!  I layered three different patterns of paper and I even did the stamping on the pattern paper.  


     For the stamping I used Tim Holtz Distress Oxide Ink - Walnut Stain.  The oxide inks are so great for stamping especially with clear stamps.  I actually used a total of four stamps to create the images and sentiment.  I used the Tm Holtz Stamp Platform to line up all of the images for perfect placement.  Then I added some Seam Binding Fig Beige  and tied a simple bow.  To finish off the card I added a few Simple Stories - I Am Enamel Dots.


     I created an A2 top folding card base with a piece of kraft cardstock.  I hope you enjoyed today's card share!  This would be a great card to make multiples of and you could change out the animal images.  It's such a quick and easy card to create.  All of the supplies are listed and linked below and can be found at The Stamp Simply Ribbon Store.  If you would like to see more card inspiration I encourage you to check out the Stamp Simply Blog.

     Thanks so much for stopping by today!  I hope you have a wonderful weekend!  We are supposed to be getting even more snow!!  I can't believe it!  Wondering if Spring will ever come lol.

Love, hugs, and blessings,
Heidi



Supplies
Stamps:  Stamp Simply Clear Stamps - Farmhouse Signage 
Paper:  Kaisercraft - Sea Breeze, Cardstock - Kraft
Ink:  Tim Holtz Distress Oxide Ink - Walnut Stain
Ribbon:  Seam Binding Fig Beige 
Accessories:  Simple Stories - I Am Enamel Dots, Tm Holtz Stamp Platform, Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L EZ Runner

Friday, April 6, 2018

The Stamp Simply Ribbon Store - Always Find Hope Card

Hello everyone!  I can't tell you how good it feel to be back to creating again.  I have missed it so much.  It's been so long and might take me a little while to get back in to the swing of things but I'm working on it.  Today, I have a card to share with you.


The beautiful hydrangea image is from the Altenew - Garden Hydrangea stamp set and the sentiment is from the Stamp Simply Clear Stamps - Farmhouse Scriptural Quotes SS-026 stamp set.  The image of the hydrangea is so beautiful and makes me think of Spring.  I know am hoping for some warmer weather and maybe I am trying to will Spring to get here.  We are supposed to get more snow this Sunday!  


The stamp set is one of the great layering sets from Altenew and I used the Tim Holtz Stamp Platform to do all of the stamping. For the inks I used the Altenew 4 Cubes - Rose Petal (Rose Quartz, Puffy Heart, Purple Wine, Cosmic Berry), Green Fields (Frayed Leaf, Forest Glades, Evergreen).


After all of the stamping was done I used the Altenew - Garden Hydrangea Die set to die cut all of the pieces.


For the background I knew I wanted to do a simple watercolor with shades of blue.  I wanted to have a white edge around the paper so I used washi tape and applied it to the edges of the  Ranger -Watercolor Paper.  Then I started by adding water to the paper with the 1'' flat paint brush.  I used the #6 round paint brush to add in the color.  For the color I used three different shades of blue Distress Oxide Inks -  Peacock Feathers, Broken China, and Salty Ocean.


Once all of the color was added onto the background I used my heat tool to make sure the paper was good and dry.  Then I added a combination of water droplets and used the Zig Wink of  Stella Clear Glitter Brush Pen to add some very fine droplets for some shimmer.


I used 3D Foam Squares to add the hydrangea and leaf die cuts.  Then I added more shimmer with the  Zig Wink of  Stella Clear Glitter Brush Pen.  I also used Ranger Glossy Accents for the flower centers.


I stamped the sentiment from the Stamp Simply Clear Stamps - Farmhouse Scriptural Quotes SS-026 using Memento Tuxedo Black.  I love this verse!


I added the watercolor piece to the front of a white A2 top folding card base.  To add a little more sparkle to the card I added a few 5mm Crystal Cup Sequins.

All of the supplies to create the card are listed and linked below and can also be found on The Stamp Simply Ribbon Store site.  To see more card inspiration I encourage you to check out the Stamp Simply Blog.

Thank you so much for stopping by today!  I am so happy to be creating again.  Enjoy your weekend and if you are somewhere with this crazy cold weather stay warm!

love, hugs, and blessings,
Heidi


Stamps:  Stamp Simply Clear Stamps - Farmhouse Scriptural Quotes SS-026, Altenew - Garden Hydrangea
Paper:  Ranger -Watercolor Paper, Cardstock - White
Ink:  Altenew 4 Cubes - Rose Petal (Rose Quartz, Puffy Heart, Purple Wine, Cosmic Berry), Green Fields (Frayed Leaf, Forest Glades, Evergreen), Memento Tuxedo Black, Zig Wink of  Stella Clear Glitter Brush Pen
Dies:  Altenew - Garden Hydrangea Die
Accessories:  5mm Crystal Cup Sequins, Ranger Glossy Accents, Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L EZ Runner, 3D Foam Squares, Tim Holtz Stamp Platform, Washi Tape, Paintbrushes - 1'' Flat, 6 Round

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Life Update---Fibromyalgia, Living with Chronic Pain, Finding Relief from the Pain, Creating Resin Art, Vacation, and House Renovations

     Hello everyone!  Gosh, it’s been so long since I have done a blog post—almost two months.  I’ve been thinking about if I should do a life update post or not.  For the most part I’m a pretty private person and don’t really like to put a lot of personal stuff out there online.  But I have went through a lot the past several months with health issues and I thought maybe there is someone out there that is going through the same things.  Maybe what I have to say can help someone or at least let them know they aren’t alone.  In addition to the health stuff we have been on vacation and also started doing some renovations to our house so a lot has been going on.  Grab a cup of coffee or your favorite beverage—it might be a long post. :) 

     If you have been following my blog for any amount of time then you probably already know that I have rheumatoid arthritis.  I was diagnosed with RA a little over ten years ago.  Then a little over two years ago I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and my whole world pretty much changed.  I remember reading an article shortly after I was diagnosed with fibro and it said fibro is a painful chronic illness that leaves nothing in the body or mind untouched.  I had no clue at the time how true that statement was.  But over the next two years I would find out.

     There has been a lot of pain with the fibro and I continue to still have a lot of pain.  But it’s not just about the pain.  Along with the fibro also came anxiety, fatigue, insomnia, the fibro fog, and depression.  I had never experienced anxiety to this level.  The kind of anxiety that makes you question yourself and every thought.  The kind that makes you feel like you are losing it because you know what you are thinking is crazy.  The kind that sometimes keeps you from making a phone call or that keeps you at home.  The kind of anxiety that you don’t want to tell anyone about because if you already think you’re crazy and losing it surely they will too.  The fatigue—I never imagined I could sleep so much and be so exhausted at the same time.  But having insomnia doesn’t help and between the fatigue and insomnia it is just an awful cycle that continues.  I am always exhausted.  Then there is the fibro fog (or brain fog).  Not being able to remember things, time, or places.  I know everyone says they forget things too or you know we’re getting older so we start to forget.  But this is different than forgetting where you put your keys.  Its’ forgetting how to do simple things like talk, finding your words or knowing how to say or spell a word.  Doing simple math.  But also forgetting not just part of a conversation but the whole entire conversation.  Blinking and realizing half the day or hours have slipped away and you have no clue what you have been doing during that time.  Were you up and functioning or just sitting there spacing off in your own little world?  It’s forgetting places you have been and nothing looks familiar. Some people compare it to living with an early onset of Alzheimer’s.  It’s scary.  Misplacing your keys or forgetting why you walked into a room can be frustrating but it’s not scary.  When you have chronic pain, anxiety, fatigue, insomnia, and the fibro fog I think depression just becomes part of the package too.  

     Last fall I started having some problems with my left arm and I am left handed.  I thought maybe I was having a flare up from the fibro but the pain just kept getting worse and worse making it very hard to do a lot of things (even create).  Over the past several months I have had physical therapy, lots of lab work, tons of x-rays, two MRI’s, nerve testing, seen an orthopedic doctor and orthopedic surgeon, a new rheumatologist and had injections.  Long story short I have been very disappointed in the health care system.  I have had a primary doctor that didn’t want to listen to me when I asked to have x-rays done on several occasions and just kept telling me to go the physical therapy.  Then when three different physical therapists told the primary doctor my arm was only getting worse I was sent to the ortho doctor to have injections.  But when I went to the ortho doctor I told him I wasn’t having any injections until someone could tell me what was actually wrong with my arm.  First of all he couldn’t understand WHY the primary doctor had given me a referral to him.  But second and most important—he was a doctor that listened.  He agreed that we needed to find out what was wrong with my arm.  So he ordered x-rays and MRI’s.  By this time I was also having problems with my right foot/ankle so he ordered x-rays and MRI for that too.  

     The results from the MRI’s came back.  I have tendinitis and arthritis in my foot/ankle.  A few years ago I fell down the basement stairs and hurt my ankle so it is already weak and the tendinitis and arthritis just make it hurt all the more.  I also found out I have arthritis in both of my knees.  I have had injections on my ankle/foot and they have really helped.  I will need to get them in my knees too and the rheumatologist said I will probably have to go in every few months for the injections.  As for my arm I was originally told I had a ganglion cyst and that it was on and wrapped around the main nerve and artery of my arm and I would need to have surgery to remove it.  I waited for two months so see an ortho surgeon.  I will admit the thought of surgery really scared me because I was told there was a chance that I could have permeant nerve damage after the surgery.  But on the flip side of that there was a possibility of no more pain in my arm.  The day finally comes to meet with the ortho surgeon.   Things did not go at all like I thought they were going to.  I was told the complete opposite of everything I had been told about my arm.  Yes, I do have a cyst but the surgeon said it is small and no need to operate.  It is not on or wrapped around the main nerve and artery in my arm.  Then I was told all of the pain I had been feeling was from the fibro.  They had asked at the beginning of the appointment if I was seeing a rheumatologist and I said yes—but at a different facility that is not affiliated with where I was.  They told me that they wanted me to see a pain specialist—specifically someone that deals with upper arm pain.  They asked if I would agree to this and I said yes.  

     **Side note---Something important to point out is that during all of this time I haven’t been able to get a new prescription for ANY type of pain meds.  I had had a prescription for a very low dose of oxy but the prescription had run out and I have a different doctor now.  Now before I get anyone telling me how bad opiates are I totally understand—I get it.  That’s not what I was asking for during this time—surely there has to be an alternative medication for chronic pain—one would think.  But I can’t get a doctor to give me any kind of prescription for the pain.  During this time I also had a doctor put in my records that I have had a prescription for oxy for ten years!  Totally not true and I can prove it if they would just take the time to look back at my records.  I received my first prescription Feb 17, 2016.  It was only refilled three or four times.  So at the very most that is 120 pills (they only give 30 per prescription) over almost a two year period.  Clearly I am NOT an addict.  But I can’t get the doctor to change what she put in my file so now whenever I ask about any type of pain med they look at me like I am an addict.  

     Ok, back to the appointment with the surgeon.  I asked if there was anything I could get for the pain during the meantime while I was waiting to see this pain specialist.  I again stated I was NOT asking for any opiates but was there something they could give me for the pain.  It was the surgeon, his assistant, and a nurse in the room.  Their response was like they had rehearsed.  They all looked at me and smiled, looked at each other, smiled, and nodded and then looked back at me.  Then they all stood up and the assistant said someone will be contacting you to set up your appointment.  They shook my hand, wished me a good day and walked out of the room.  

     **Another side note---the pain from fibromyalgia is caused by over active nerves.  Nerve pain is some of the worst pain there is and it is hard for most people to image that kind of pain and/or living with that kind of pain on a daily basis.  The best way I know how to explain that kind of pain is this---Have you ever had a tooth ache?  If you have that is usually caused by nerve pain.  Now think about the worst tooth ache you have ever had.  It is very, very painful and you would probably do almost anything to get rid of that pain.  Now image that kind of pain throughout your body and more than likely in several areas of your body at the same time.  Not only does fibro pain hurt but sometimes it burns and stings too.  Sometimes I have areas where it feels like my skin is burnt and I don’t mean sun burnt I mean burnt like from a fire.  Sometimes even clothing, blankets or a sheet or even a gentle touch or hug can hurt.  But all of it is on the inside and people don’t see the pain. 

     Back to the appointment with the surgeon---I waited for two months to hear this—they could have told me sooner and everything could have been said over the phone.  They were in and out of the room in five minutes.  There was no need to have an appointment with the surgeon other than to accumulate more bills.  I was so mad when I left there.  Then to top it off a couple of days later I look at the surgeon’s report in the online app and it says something completely different.  No mention of a pain specialist.  But instead it said the recommendation is to see a rheumatologist AND that I AGREED to it!  IF that had actually happened I would have said NO THNAK YOU because I am already seeing a rheumatologist that I am very happy with.  I’m just disgusted to say the least!!   There have been lots of other things—doctors not listening, blowing off the fibro and acting like it’s all the RA, physical therapy that was very painful and not working, wasted tests, wasted doctor visits.  Then last week I received a letter in the mail from the orthopedic surgery department saying they knew I had been on a wait list for some time now for the surgery but at this time there were no available openings in orthopedic surgery but if I wanted to remain on the wait list I had to call them.  What the heck???  

     Last week I had another appointment with the rheumatologist.  He is a new doctor for me—I’ve only had one other appointment with him but I really like him.  He listens and he’s been doing some tests to help figure things out.  I told him what was going on with my arm and I was wondering about getting a second opinion.  He listened to everything I had to say.  I pulled up the other doctor and surgeon reports on my phone and he looked at all of that and said he agreed that I was right in wanting a second opinion.  He said my concerns were justified and if it was him he would want a second opinion too.  So he is going to get that set up for me.  He asked how I was doing with the adjust meds—but I didn’t know what he was talking about.  He said hasn’t your primary doctor changed you meds and I said no.  He told me he had sent her his recommendations a couple of months ago after he got my lab work back.  But once again—no follow through from the primary doctor.  So he said he would be contacting her again and if I didn’t hear back to contact them.  Well it’s been a week and I’ve heard nothing.  I am currently on a wait list for a new primary doctor that deals with fibro (at a different facility).  

     Are you still hanging in here with me and reading along?  If you are God Bless You!!  I know this is a long post.

     On the upside---I have had nerve testing done and I do not have any permanent nerve damage.  Yay!  I got test results back last week from the rheumatologist and my RA is in remission!!  Double Yay!  I have been working on changing some of the foods I eat and the portion size.  I have lost 20 lbs since the first of the year.  Another Yay!  AND I finally found something that has been helping with the pain---I’m the most excited about this and SO, SO, SO very thankful to have found something.  I found out about a product from a fellow crafter who has also been going through her own health struggles.  It’s an ointment from CBD Clinic.  It is a combine FDA-approved active ingredients with cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoative and legal hemp extract.  It is legal in all 50 states.  I had to order it online (I found a seller on Ebay).  You can’t just go anywhere to buy it and you will want to look around to find the best price because it is expensive and it is not covered by insurance.  When I found the seller on ebay I looked at his rating and the comments left by other people.  He has sold a lot of the ointment, has a good rating and all the comments were really good.  Depending on where you buy it from the price ranges from about $70 to $120 for 44grams.  Like I said it is expensive BUT it works.  The relief from the pain has been worth every penny!  My friend told me that it worked for her to help with the pain so I have been hoping and praying that it would also work for me.  The difference is amazing and I am able to start doing some crafting and jewelry making again.  I have been crafting for years and it has always been such a passion of mine and to not be able to do what you love or be very limited has been so hard.  I just can’t imagine not being able to create.  I have some pictures below of the container and ointment if anyone is interested.  You can see it looks kind of like Vaseline and it smells kind of like Vicks.  I have applied it probably 20 times so far and it takes very little.  I just tap my fingers on top of the ointment and then spread it around to where I need it and rub it in good.  It can be applied 3-4 times daily.  With each application I can get about six hours of relief from the pain which is fantastic! But remember to wash your hands right away—you would not want to get that in your eye.  Also in the pictures you will see it says Level 5 on the container—this is important.  They make 5 different levels of this ointment and level 5 is the strongest.  For anyone who is interested I will leave a link to the website so you can read about the ointment.  Click HERE for a link to the CBD Clinic website.






     Through all of this my husband and family have been amazing.  My husband has been very patient and understanding.  Even when sometimes I am sure some of it has been hard to understand.  I have a couple of amazing friends who have been there the whole way.  Always willing to talk or just listen and reassure me I am not crazy and losing my mind.  Well, maybe a little crazy once in a while lol.  :)  But they are always there for me—sometimes even in the middle of the night.  I am so, so, so very thankful for them and to have them in my life. You know who you are.  :)  That is something I have learned—you need to have your tribe, your support system.  Going through something like this you find out who your real friends are.  Unfortunately, there have been people who don’t understand and don’t want to.  They think it’s in your head, you’re making it up, or making excuses.  There are people that get mad if you aren’t feeling good and have to cancel.  Or they see you out in public and because they don’t physically “see” the pain they think you are just fine.  I’ll be honest that was really hard to deal with at first and sometimes it still is.  I have gotten really good at not letting the pain show when I am out in public.  I have also become guarded when someone asks how I am feeling or how I am doing.  After a while you begin to pick up on things and recognize if a person really truly cares and wants to know or if they are just trying to make polite conversation.  When it’s polite conversation I simply say I’m doing fine and ask how they are doing because I know that’s really all they want to hear.  

     If you are going through this please know you are not alone, you are not crazy, and the pain you feel is very real.  Find your tribe.  Having a good support system is so important.  If you don’t like the answers from a doctor find another one.  Listen to your body.  If you need to sleep then take a nap and don’t feel guilty about it.  Give yourself time to grieve.  You might think that sounds strange—I know I did the first time I heard that.  I thought grieve for what exactly?  Grieve for the person you used to be.  Life changes with fibro and part of you won’t ever be the same.  That’s a tough one to accept and know that it will take some time to work through that.  Take all the time you need---I’m still working on it.  Know that everyone and their brother will come out of the wood work to tell you what you should be doing to feel better.  Most are just trying to help.  Take what you need and what is useful and will work for you—let the rest go.  Fibromyalgia is the same but yet different for everyone.  What works for some doesn’t work for the others.  Medications can work for different lengths of time and then one day just not work anymore.  Sometimes not eating certain types of food---diet and exercise will help.  Essential oils, yoga.   Fibromyalgia, is ever changing and you have to keep making the changes, push forward and keep trying whatever works for you.  Try to be positive even on the rough days.  Look for the good—we have so many blessings in life---appreciate them.  Pray.

     I am hoping to be back in the swing of things soon and back to creating and posting.  At times my arm has hurt so much it hurts to type.  So clearly by the looks of this long post you can tell the ointment is working lol!  I have so many things I want to do and create!!  I have been working on some new resin projects and I have a couple pictures for sneak peeks.  It’s a new to me resin and technique.  I am still using and loving ICE Resin for my jewelry but for the home d├ęcor pieces I’ve been working on I have been using a different type of resin which I’ll go into more detail when I post the projects.  


     During the time I was away from my blog we went on vacation for spring break.  We went to California and spent two days at Yosemite National Park and the rest of the week we spent in San Francisco.  We had a wonderful time and it was great to get away.  I needed it.  Yosemite was so beautiful!  Truly God’s country!  San Fran was so much fun!  We went to Fisherman’s Warf, Chinatown, Sausalito, Alcatraz, Golden Gate Bridge, an arcade museum and a wax museum.  We had wonderful seafood, lots of sightseeing and picture taking, and great memories.  The pictures are still on the camera and iPad but I’ll be sharing them soon.  We also started working on some house renovations so there has been a lot going on.  I am hoping to have a creative post up still this week so be looking for that.  

     If you hung in here with me to the end---Thank you for taking the time to read this post.  I know it was a long one.  I’m not looking for any sympathy—I just wanted to share all of this in the hopes that maybe there is someone out there that is going through the same thing and maybe something I shared might be of some help or comfort to them.  I also shared this just for understanding.  Maybe you know someone with fibro and what I have had to say might help you to understand what someone else might be going through. 

Hugs, love, and blessings,
Heidi

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