A Little Birthday Surprise

My Birthday was June 4th.  
I am a healthy, active woman of 51 years old now!

But this year's birthday surprise was one I could live without. 
On Tuesday and Wednesday the week before my birthday I was having almost constant stomach cramps and bloating.  Then on Thursday they became worse and I laid in bed shivering and vomiting.  After a few hours of that I felt pretty good and just assumed I had been dealing with some kind of food poisoning.  The next day, however, proved me wrong.  I woke up fine, had a good breakfast and lunch, even a long walk with the dogs, then it hit.  Extreme abdominal pain.  I remember that I even said to my husband that I thought I was dying.

Since we live in the boondocks, we went to the local urgent care center.  They said my stomach was "guarded" and that is sounded like a surgical problem.  They could not give me any pain medicine or anything to help at all.  So, the options were to take an ambulance ($$$$) or drive to Emergency about 40 minutes away.  We drove.  And by God, everyone on that dang two lane highway was going at or below the speed limit!  It was an excruciating ride for me.  

Finally at the hospital and I have to be triaged because they don't have any available rooms.  So, more waiting in extreme pain.  Not fun.  Took about an hour to get into a room where a nurse tried and failed twice to set an IV.  I've got the bruises to prove it still.  She sent in another guy to get a line in the other arm  Finally some morphine!  After that set in and a CT scanner was available I got the "great" news that I had appendicitis and it had ruptured.  Dr. thought I was in the middle somewhere in terms of how bad it was.....Until he got in there to do the surgery which happened almost immediately.  He said it was a really messy clean out and he would be surprised if I didn't develop an abscess later on due to bacteria that hadn't been able to be removed.

So, day after surgery was not bad.  I felt fairly decent considering the circumstances and family came to visit and brought flowers.  Then I started having reactions to all of the antibiotics.  Not serious allergic reactions, but a general tiredness and constant nausea.  I couldn't eat and didn't want to, either.  I knew I needed to pass all of their standards to be let out - passing urine, bowel movements, eating and keeping it down.  But they were still pumping me with antibiotics and fluids.  At this point I had to have a Foley catheter put in because my bladder was not working properly. 

The second day was the worst.  I had no energy and couldn't move.  The doctor came in and the only way I could describe it to him was that it was as if someone had taken a giant water balloon and covered my entire body with it.  It was a huge effort just to lift a finger.  I was having weird daytime hallucinations that I could reason weren't real, but could not stop when my eyes were closed.  Even drinking water at this point was monstrous.  Funny thing was I was barely even taking Tylenol for the pain.  I was pretty out of it all day and slept fitfully overnight.  During this they had changed antibiotics and when I woke up on the third day post-surgery I thought I was on the mend.  But my bowels were just barely working right and still having trouble with major nausea that prevented me from eating much at all.  I tried a few things but then vomited most of up again.  My family came to visit as I was sitting back up again and that cheered me up and got me motivated.  But overnight was horrible with self-pity and nausea.

I knew what I needed was some solid food, but the doctor still had me on liquids.  If I could only get some bread, crackers, pretzels, anything to help ease the nausea.  Finally, a nurse agreed and gave me some crackers!  I was determined.  I started with crackers and when the doctor came in I convinced him to change my diet to "regular" and he said I should eat whatever sounded good.  So I had more crackers, rice cakes, cheerios with soy milk and was on my way.  They took out my catheter and I could pee!  They took out the surgical drain (that was shocking and weird)!  I had some rice and tofu for lunch that my husband had to get across the street because the hospital does not have tofu!!!  Then they took out my IV and I even had a shower and got to go home!  

Happy Birthday to me!

I'm home now, 6 days post-surgery and feeling pretty good.  I'll have a couple of follow up visits to make sure the abscess is not forming and all is healing well.  I want to thank everyone who saw my posts on Facebook and shared well wishes for me and for a speedy recovery.  I'm not completely out of the woods, but it's looking good.

This is a warning to anyone ignoring stomach cramps, bloating or pain in your lower right abdomen - have it checked out.  Sooner rather than later.  Lesser cases can be treated with antibiotics and a simple appendix removal and are much less dangerous than what I experienced.

So, now it's back to the real world.  I'm taking it easy, but getting some easy glass things done in short increments and enjoying the early summer weather while I build up my strength and appetite. 

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A Book

Hi Everyone!

I frequently get told that I "should illustrate a children's book"  So..... I did!

My husband and I have been vegan for many years.  He is a natural body builder and has recently become associated with a group called Switch4Good.  They are a non-profit group of professional athletes who promote a life free of dairy products. 

The idea of a children's book has been on my husband, Mark's, mind for quite some time.  This past winter with snow piled all around he found the words and began writing.  He wrote up the idea and story and forwarded it to Tanya Flink, a writer and editor specializing in plant-based lifestyle media and non-profit work.  She is also associated with Switch4Good and she helped round out the story and edit it for us.

I spent some time creating the illustrations and we put the book together!  It was a fun project and I think it turned out really well.  Proceeds from the sale of this book benefit Switch4Good and help to promote compassion in young people.

The book is a square 7 x 7" format with 20 pages - Half words/half illustration.

BENNY COVERLearn about the dairy industry through the eyes of Little Benny, a newborn dairy cow, in this heartwarming picture book. The vibrant illustrations will engage your child while the story teaches them about empathy and compassion. Appropriate for all ages.
Buy it here and share the love!


Updating My Brush

Hi Everyone!

I hope you are all having a wonderful holiday season.  Mine has been busy, but just starting to slow down.  I'll be picking up production again after Christmas and looking forward to working on some new designs for bowls, boxes and tiles.

I'm even working on some artwork for a little children's book that my husband is authoring.  Just a little something more to keep me busy....

What I really wanted to share with you all is this new blending brush I found.  I have been vegan for almost 11 years now.  I am always finding new ways to organize my life around my vegan values and I realized that I have been using and promoting animal hair brushes for many years.  Well, I did some research and found a company from England that makes a really fabulous substitute for the Badger hair blending brush. 

Handover : Softening Brush Synthetic Hair 3 in

It was rather inexpensive, even including shipping to the US, so I ordered one and crossed my fingers.  It is a 3" wide brush, the same as my old badger brush, but the bristles look and feel to the touch substantially different.  However, I was very pleasantly surprised to find that it handled the enamels and blending/softening very well.  The bristles seem much stiffer and I thought that would be a problem, but it wasn't at all.  I have been using it exclusively since I got it a few months ago and wish I had gotten it from the start.

I am not a paid promoter of this product or the company, but when I found a brush that works just like the animal product I knew I needed to share it.  I hope some of you will consider this as an option instead of the badger brush for your painting/enameling/blending purposes.

Here is a link to the company --

Jackson's Art Supplies
https://www.jacksonsart.com/en-us/handover-softening-brush-synthetic-hair-3-in

1 Farleigh Place
London
N16 7SX
+44 (0)207 254 0077

 


A Busy Holiday Season

I want to thank everyone that has come out to see me so far at all of my art shows and sales.  It has been a fun time and I've seen many of you multiple times --  Thank you, thank you!

I have just one more show for this year.  Please come check it out if you can.

 

Holiday Tails Art and Craft Fair

at The Athletic Club of Bend
One day only -- December 1st, 2018
10am to 5pm

20% of all sales benefit the Central Oregon Humane Society!

Holiday tails


Seattle Here I Come!

I'm pretty excited to have been accepted into the Best of the Northwest Art and Fine

Craft Fall Show this year!  This is my first time there, and I hope all you Northwesterners will come out and say Hi!

This is the 30th year for this show, so I'm sure they will whoop it up for their anniversary.

You can get all the details here --

https://nwartalliance.org/event/30th-annual-best-of-the-northwest-art-and-fine-craft-show-fall-2018/

 

See You There - Booth D6
November 9, 10, 11, 2018
Magnusen Park, Hangar 30, Seatle, WA

 

The Babysitter - 8 x 8" Plate with Stand

BABYSITTER 4


A Bit of an Update

Hi Everyone!

Just a little note here to let you know I've made some very minor adjustments to my website.  Although they make a big difference to me, you probably won't really notice any changes except for the Shop format.

After a trial run with a Square Store, I've gone back to my Etsy Store as my main selling platform.  I hope you will check it out when you need a gift for a friend, family member or even for yourself!  In the end I think it's quite a bit more user friendly for everyone involved.  

I am still adding a few more items, but you will find the majority of my currently available tiles, bowls, plates and platters as well as the glass painting supplies like enamels, clove oil and gum arabic there now.

Thank you so much for spending some time with me on my blog, website, Facebook and Instagram pages!  I enjoy sharing with you and hearing all of your comments.

A GIRL AND HER DOG TILE 2


The Making of a Custom Order

I have just completed a custom order for a large tile that is headed to Maryland.  Along the way, I took some photos so that I could share with you my process and the steps involved with that.

Enjoy!

The initial drawing/sketch based on the request for a portrait of the recipient (a retiring pediatrician)
with children, cats, trees and sun.

CUSTOM ORDER GLASS 7

Second Draft - standing cats made into a cat below and one in the tree.  Two kids added and skirt on doctor changed to a dress.

CUSTOM ORDER GLASS 7

Third draft - Shape of tree changed and cat added at doctor's feet.
CUSTOM ORDER GLASS 7

Color Draft - Approved with addition of stethoscope around doctor's neck (not in photo). 
The requests included a variety of ethnicity among the children.CUSTOM ORDER GLASS 7

Detail of glass with outline painted and firedCUSTOM ORDER GLASS 3

Detail of glass with shading/texturing added and firedCUSTOM ORDER GLASS 7

Here is the glass tile with color enamel painted on, but before firing.  (colors are softer and paler at this stage)CUSTOM ORDER GLASS 7

The finished tile!
CUSTOM ORDER GLASS 7

Close up detail of section of the finished tile with kids and cat.
CUSTOM ORDER GLASS 7

This custom order took a lot of back and forth with the clients via email and text to get just what they wanted, but it was totally worth it.  

I'm very happy with the outcome and hope the recipient will be as well!

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Enamels Now Available

Hi Everyone!

Just a quick note to let you know I am now selling Easy Fire Fusemaster Enamels.  If you have taken my class, purchased my video tutorial or are just interested in playing with these beautiful, high quality enamels now you can get them right here!

I am selling just 16 colors of the EZ Fire line.  These are the colors I like and choose to use.  They are also the ones I most recommend for my technique and process.  

The Easy Fire Enamels are easy to use with most mixing mediums.  I sell clove oil in a super convenient glass eye dropper bottle as well as powdered Gum Arabic to mix for a water based medium - both of these are shown how to be used in my video and workshops.

Check them out here and see the great prices and convenient color sets I have put together as well.  

Keep on Painting!!

ENAMELS 2


Supplies

Hi Everybody!

If you follow my' Silly Dog Facebook or Instagram pages you have seen that I've been traveling a lot teaching lately as well as for some personal time.  I've also been working on a few custom orders and squeezing in finishing some pieces I started a month or so ago.

But, in between I have made the decision to begin carrying and selling some of the supplies needed to do my reverse enameling technique.  So if you've taken a class from me or purchased my video tutorial you can confidently purchase the supplies that I recommend. 

As of today, I have the Gum Arabic and the Clove Oil available, but will be adding the EZ Fire Fusemaster enamels as soon as I can, but probably not until the middle of June at the rate I'm going now.

So, if you need some to get started - head on over to my shop and check it out.  

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Another Workshop Date Just Added!

I had a couple of ladies request a class date at my workshop in La Pine in May.  

So, since I can accommodate 4 people at my studio, I am listing this class with space available and can take 2 more lucky people!

If you are, in fact, interested in my Reverse Glass Enameling workshop and these dates in May will work for you, don't hesitate - email me today to get your name in there!

May 24-27, 2018
See here for more workshop dates and links for workshop descriptions and other important information.

DOG ON FIRE TILE 1