Thursday, December 08, 2016

So here's the what's what! And it sounds crazy but it's not that bad, really!

So! Here's my story of what's been going on for the past month or so. Time kind of has lost meaning here, ya know?

I am very pleased to say that the long, twisting, painful Lyme path I've been on for four years (more?) is starting to have an end that I can actually see. My mini-remissions are longer in length, I can handle the pain much better, and I can anticipate the bad days with far more accuracy. I have my blood drawn every three weeks and my levels that kept going whhhhheeeeee on a rollercoaster have been much more stable.  I save my spoons (Spoon Theory people, you with me?) and I've tried very hard not to feel like I'm messing up everyone's life who comes in contact with me. I started therapy and it's difficult, but worth it.

The typical thing is Murphy's Law is apparently a Law that is alive and well and untampered with. When the Lyme and co-infections started to regulate, other things dropped in my lap. My family has a recent history of thyroid cancer and I decided to have my thyroid checked again with a full panel. My thyroid has always been a little wiggy here and there, but then the blood work would come back normal. But when you see people you love get cancer, and your throat has been feeling.... not right for a year or so, I didn't want to ignore it.

I had an ultrasound and I have three small nodes. They are not big enough to biopsy safely and my thyroid is apparently really deep and the parathyroid is attached weirdly (?). But Rick and I were fully expecting, from our first doctor's messages, that we were looking at potential thyroid cancer. And I know that's not nearly the kind of cancer that so many of you have dealt with, but I wasn't exactly prepared. It felt so unfair to see the end of the Lyme road, even if it's still got a few hills on it, only to hit a freaking pot hole with teeth.

But wait! There's more! (And a set of Ginsu knives for 49.99 if you've read this far. Kidding.) I'm waiting to hear back from a cardiologist. There has been a heavy feeling in my chest, like my heart is too big (my thyroid was the right size so that wasn't it) and I already have mycoplasma pneumoniae from the tick, a constant cough, yucko -- so who knows. It could just be the way your body settles when you're in bed as long as I have been. I'm mellllllllting. That sort of thing. 

And the last thing (whew!) is I was diagnosed with a type of anemia (out of the blue, what's up with this???) where my hemoglobin is normal but my ferritin serum is extremely low. It's 5, and the norm is between 15-50. Basically, I don't have nearly enough stored iron, so I've been falling asleep just sitting up, passing out, lightheaded, dizzy, bumping into walls I can plainly see but smack into anyway, etc. I've got some pretty bruises! 

But really, no problem. This has a protocol! I need three weeks of infusions (once a week for three weeks) and then another blood test, but I can't be seen for my consult until Jan 4th, which really isn't that bad considering the holidays are HERE (and I'm excited because that means long nights of Trivial Pursuit with the family).  Then hopefully we can figure out which drug is chelating all the iron and I'll have the energy to get rid of some blubber I've amassed and push even harder up the next few hills of Lyme Road and C'Lyme to full remission.

And that has been my month!

Saturday, October 01, 2016

Beads of Courage auction update

Please stay tuned for the EBay auction. I'll post here and on Facebook when it's up. Charities have to be registered on EBay so there is accountability for the totality of funds being delivered to the charity. For some reason BOC isn't showing up anymore and it has since forever, and Jen is working hard to get things coordinated.

In the meantime, visit my post below, check out people's creations, and make a list of one's you want to bid on. I have a list myself!

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Beads of Courage Charm Auction -- Welcome!

Helloooooo! Are you ready to make some bids on some beautiful, handmade charms? Of course you are! And where would said charms be, you ask? On Ebay, by clicking this handy link. Just click it.

(A quick  note -- as of 11:30pm, there may be a delay in Ebay, but please please keep checking there and checking here. It'll be worth it!)

First, what is this all about other than "ooooh sparkly!" and "OMG! BIN!"? This annual blog hop is the brainchild of Jennifer Cameron of Glass Addiction, a glass artist whose beads were featured in my book and whose beads I still hoard. The auction will benefit Beads of Courage, a phenomenal group whose byline is "Arts-in-Medicine for Children With Serious Illnesses". Each time a child goes through a surgery, chemotheraphy, a long hospital stay, or the like, participating hospitals give the child a bead. A bead may seem like a small thing, but it IS a big thing to these kids. It gives them a sense of accomplishment and the knowledge they are not alone and someone out there they don't even know is rooting for them. Beads of Courage has been around for eleven years, and every year more and more beadmakers participate, more hospitals join the program, and more children smile.

And yes, there are lots of kids who get that many beads. Can you even imagine?

For a number of years I've wanted to participate in Jen's blog hop. It's very clever. A participant makes a certain number of beads in the same basic pattern. They send the individually bagged beads to Jen, who then goes about separating them, designating one for the auction, and sending BACK a charm to the people who sent charms. So if I send ten beads, she keeps one to auction and I get nine back, each different, each from a different bead maker. 

This year's theme was "Fairy Tales". We were tasked to create a charm using a bead or beads related in some way to fit the theme. The charm didn't have to wear a tutu (although that would be cute, and I have a hippo bead in my car that wears a pink tutu -- but I digress) and it didn't have to be "girly" (beads go to girls AND boys, and boys rock some fairy tales). When I got my charms, I was amazed at the creativity. I would love to show you each charm, but I'm really, really sure you might want to to visit the Ebay site to see them all!

via Jenny Davies-Reazor, from a previous auction

As for mine, at first I didn't think I had the skill to keep up with Jen's group. I haven't been in my lampwork studio in four years-ish, and I couldn't think of  anything fairy-tale-ish in metal I could do without wrecking the size limit. It turns out, the answer was under my nose all along.

I love buttons. And I've collected hoarded buttons by the bucketful for ten years.

I love this close-up, as it shows the subtle textures and buttonhole placements.

Favorites I bought at (where else) Bead and Button.

One of my button tins with 99% mother of pearl buttons.

Zack attacked.

These were used in a challenge piece I made here.

My rainy day jar. I've had this over four years, waiting for just the right day to open it, dump out the contents, and look at everything. Why haven't I done it yet? I love the way it looks now with all the sewing notions in it! I promise when I open it, I'll share the adventure with you!

Aaaand, these are not even the half of them. Seriously. Ask Zack. Not. Even. Close.

However, with six vintage jars of mother of pearl buttons on my coffee table, I quickly got an idea. A wedding dress. Buttons on a wedding dress. Or a ball gown? Yeah! So... now what?

Why, Cinderella, of course. 

I imagined Cinderella in a dress with buttons down the back, a beaded necklace, and those perfect glass slippers. But how to make the buttons stand out a bit more, as they were the focal of the charm?

I remembered that once upon a time (see what I did there?) I'd made resin charms with buttons. I dug through piles of things I'm destashing and rescued some copper/pewter bezels from Tierracast and stirred up some resin and attached the buttons.

For texture purposes, the majority of buttons are white plastic, but they are vintage. There are four mother of pearl buttons included. I just had to.

As they looked in the photo above, however, I felt they just weren't enough. They didn't get across that whole "Cinderella's Dress" idea I was going for. So I had to add a tiny handmade glass bead (for her necklace) and two Swarovski clear crystals (for her shoes). Here they are in finished form, with a copper ring on top so they can be added to a charm bracelet or used as a sweet pendant on a necklace or ribbon.

I really, really wanted to add a tiny scrap of lace but the charms were just too small to tie anything around without it looking like Hagrid started crafting, and when I finally got an idea, it was too late. So I stored it in my Swiss cheese brain for "do that again another time".

Now is the time to click that Ebay button I mentioned above, and it's also time to see what the other talented folks made for the Beads of Courage Auction. Their takes on fairy tales are cool, unique, beautiful, you name it! Lots of creativity. Lots and lots.

May all the children live happily every after.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Teaching My Son About the Meaning of Memorial Day (reprise from 2011)

I hope you don't mind my repeating a blog post from 2011, a post that it timeless, about Memorial Day. I hope you enjoy it.  Click here to read it, and for some amazing photos I took.

Thank you.

taken by Lori Anderson (me)

taken by Lori Anderson (me)

Lori Anderson creates jewelry which she currently shows on her Facebook Page, She is also the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party, which is currently on haiatus.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Improve your day with a bit of beauty from Etsy.

When I'm not feeling my particular best, I find window-shopping at Etsy often cheers me up. I make a point of strolling through categories of things I couldn't make myself, let alone dream of. If I wander through jewelry, which I make, there's a big chance I could start feeling a bit low ("why couldn't *I* have thought of that, etc.). That kind of attitude is just no good to your psyche!

My first Etsy find involves dimensional paper Luna moths, a huge favorite of mine. Candygears makes beautiful Luna moths, among other things, and I'm enamored with them.


Aren't they beautiful? You can glue the dimensional art to headbands, costumes, or enjoy as art. They make me feel like a fairy princess of the night garden.

Next is art from an artist whom I've followed for a long time, Wyanne. I've always loved her dreamy art, but through the years, I feel she's really grown. This print is called "Catch and Release" and I love both the idea behind it as well as the colors and emotion it evokes.


Moving on ... with two cats who live to play, these handmade catnip jellyfish (jellyfishes?) are to darned cute.


My two cats would love these, but wouldn't they look cute hanging from the ceiling in your bathroom?

Lastly, yarn. I've noticed that many, many bead makers and jewelry designers gravitate toward knitting and crocheting. I think it's first about the colors, second about making something, and third the ability to create yet another stash with nary a shred of guilt. (Well. Maybe a *little*. But not enough to stop!)


Megan Risk creates gorgeous yarn for any occasion. This is definitely not your grandmother's Red Heart yarn! Sumptuous with lots of yardage, you can make a decadent scarf or a sumptuous sweater. Stuck on finding a pattern? Try and discover a world of wow.

Hopefully your day is a bit brighter from exploring these handmade vendors. Have fun shopping!