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Sunday, November 23, 2014

Jennifer's Progress After Chiari Surgery

I'm so sorry I haven't been able to update everyone. With all that has been going on at home and work, I just now found a little time to update everyone. I feel bad it's taken me so long. With all of the love, kindness, prayers, and well wishes from so many it made me feel bad not to update everyone until now.

Jennifer just returned to Ohio this past Tuesday for her post-op visit. Sadly, she had about 10 episodes of the "Chiari headaches". She felt a bit depressed by this, but I told her she still had a long recovery ahead of her and it will take time for the surgery to show results.

She tires easily, but she has been great about doing her therapy. It's painful for her to do the exercises, but she follows through with them as she knows it will help make her stronger and better. She let me take a picture of her head and wouldn't have minded if I shared it. I took the picture with my iPhone and cannot get it to my email. I don't know too much about the iPhone because I don't like cell phones too much and figure, why bother to learn all about It was a gift from my daughter Jennifer and I must admit, I do like being able to test her when she is at work.

Jennifer is also experiencing some post-op blues. She is used to being an active and busy business woman and mom. Besides missing her routine of work and playing with her children, she is feeling a bit "frumpy" about her shaved head and long scar. Her sister and I are going to take her shopping when she can get out and about. We want to buy her a wig while she waits for her hair to grow out.This is something she will need to pick out.

After almost two weeks she is doing well. Of course, as a mom, I am concerned about some of the things she must be careful to remember. She is not suppose to lift or bend over. After her full recovery, she will also be limited to certain activities. She can no longer ride amusement park rides, jump on a trampoline and of course no Extreme sports of any kind. I'm looking forward to learning all that she has gone through will be worth it. In the meantime, I will go to work, get ready for the holidays, watch over my daughter's recovery and perhaps be able to squeeze in the time to do some of the crafty things we all enjoy.

Thank you everyone for the emails. Again, I apologize for not answering them, but I have read each and every one and they warmed my heart. It's nice to know there are so many thoughtful and kind people out there. Even though I've not met everyone in person; I know the hearts that have reached out to me and my family during the troubled times this year has brought to us. May God continue to  bless and keep each and every one of you. All of you a a lovely part of our family's blessings.


Friday, November 7, 2014

My Daughter's Surgery Day

I would like to thank all of you who sent well wishes love, thoughts, and prayers.  Jennifer has been in surgery for almost two hours. The University of Cincinnati Medical Center  has a large computer monitor with a number assigned as her surgery.  It's suppose to give us updates, but it just tells us her surgery is in progress.  The two hours  feels like ten. I'll try to keep everyone posted as I learn more. So many have asked how she is doing so I thought I will try to journal this day on my blog. I have a picture of Jennifer in her surgical cap and all but I've not been able to upload it.

The surgery went well but the pain has been difficult on Jennifer. They managed to get the pain down to a 5 but when the medication begins to wear off her pain level escalates back up. They got her up last night and with assistance she was able to take a few steps. Today, they are going to begin physical therapy. She is having a lot of difficulty eating because of the intense pain she feels in her neck when she tries to swallow. The nurse said; she will need to change her diet to soft foods like ice cream, applesauce, and mashed potatoes.

All in all, things have gone very well. What Jennifer is experiencing is normal after this kind of surgery. It's just so hard on her to feel like she feels when she is the kind of woman who loves being on the go and she has already missed her children so much. She is looking forward to better days and a more normal life that will allow her to play with her children. She will always have certain limitations, but for the most part; these are things she won't really miss. She can no longer go on rides like roller coasters, jump on a trampoline, sky diving (which she would have tried at one time) skiing, and other things like this. The most important thing is for her to be able to get in her back yard with her children and play some softball.

We will be with her today and part of tomorrow. It's going to be hard for me to go home with her still here in the hospital, but I know she is in great hands with the staff and her loving, caring, and one good man; her fiance.

Blessings and hugs to all,

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Papel Picado Wedding Invitation

Hello everyone, as this week approaches the day of Jennifer's surgery, I can hardly keep my mind on anything else. My dear husband suggested, I do some design work. It did help to get my mind to other places. I wish I could give her some moments of freeing her mind. She is, understandably, nervous. Our faith and prayers keep us strong. God knows we all need our minds re-directed to other things beside the thoughts of a long surgery and very long recovery. I think my daughter is most concerned about the long recovery. She is a very active woman and a mommy. She's already missing her children even though our travels won't take place until this Thursday.

While trying to keep my mind occupied I decided to work on a project one of my YouTube subscribers asked me about. She would like me to make a video tutorial on how making a Papel Picado wedding invitation tutorial. With all that has gone on and will be going on, it may be a bit of time before I can make the video tutorial. I did take the time to create and cut one out. They are lovely invitations, but I must say; they are very time consuming to cut and design.

The techniques of design are fairly basic. The most difficult task is making everything fit so it welds, cuts nicely and has a wedding look into it. With all of the intricate details of a Papel Picado you want to have pretty and intricate designs, yet you want to be careful not to go too far. For example; If I would do this over I would make the doves solid and place so heavier designs into the doves. Also, I would use a new blade and be sure to double cut when using a heavier card stock.

I started out with a rectangle measuring 5 x 7 then did an internal offset. From here I began choosing design elements. In the picture below I used the rose flourish for the top, but I also made one using wedding bells ( I forgot to take a picture of the wedding bell Papel Picado) I then worked on the placement of the doves, creating the border edged with some flower shapes and circles that I welded to the edge of the 5 x 7 rectangle. Now all that is left to do is to make sure I have plenty of room for the wording. I used the Adobe Garamond font to create the wording. Arial Bold would also work. Remember, when you weld you must weld to a "compound path". When I made the internal offset of the 5 x 7 rectangle I selected both the inside and outside of the rectangle, right clicked, and selected, "make compound path". This will make it possible for you to weld you border and inside elements to create the card. Another thing to remember when welding is to make sure your elements slightly overlap the areas you will be welding to create the look you want.

I'm looking forward to making another Papel Picado and have learned a few things along the way. When we send out wedding invitations it can be anywhere from ten to hundreds. I would not want to make hundreds of these without the help of some crafty friends who own a Silhouette cutting machine. I would also not like to weed out the hanging chads like I had to do for this one. Next time, I will use a brand new blade, make the elements a little heavier and yet maintain its intricate design, and I will always double

When you look at the photo below you'll be able to see all of the areas that were in need of welding to complete the card and the look. If you decide to try making one of these, I would love to see your design.

As you can see below, I took many pictures of this project. I created a cover for the wedding invitation with a paper band to hold it closed. You can't really see the lovely, sparkling crystal beads placed on the band. The beads did add that special touch needed to make such a lovely wedding invitation look even more special.

I almost forgot to tell you the meaning of Papel Picado. It means to punch out of paper. Just imagine how many of these lovely wedding invitations and other Papel Picados were made by hand. Each delicate detail was cut by hand. Thank goodness! We have cutting machines.