Monday, June 25, 2012

She is...

As soon as I saw the Color Me Scrappy color challenge #6, my heart skipped a beat. I simply love these colors and I knw immediately that I would be digging through my stash to find just the perfect combination of patters and colors. I had an idea in my head, but then as I pulled these great bold colors and prints, my head began to think of something more "quilted" and this is the end result. I have to say that I just love this page- the wheel design really enhances the mixture of patterns and colors, but the main focus is still on the photo of my sweet girl, Ashlyn. I took this photo one morning as she was waiting for her bus. (Her little cheeks are so puffy from the medications- we all talk about how much we just want to sqeeze them because she's never had any fat on her. Ever. lol)

cs: Recollections
pp: Pink Paislee, Jillibean Soup, October Afternoon, Crate Paper, Bo Bunny, MME, Fancy Pants Designs
embellies: Prima flowers (Hydrangias), Studio Calico butterflies, October Afternoon Chipboard (blue button, teddy and flower), Dear Lizzy chipboard (heart) and crochet flower, Petaloo (dk. pink rose), light pink roses are from the Michaels buck fifty bins, twine is from The Twinery, brads: Crate paper (lg) and doodlebug, punches: Fiskars and EK Success

here is the gorgeous color inspiration:

You can check out what the CMS team did with this pallette HERE. You can also share your layouts on this, as well as the other wonderful color combos.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

snow doggone cute- LCTS #138

This is my last layout for Let's Capture These Sketches. I have had a wonderful time working with the awesome sketches, but decided not to extend my term. I had a lot of fun making this layout. I wanted the cute photos to pop, but also have dimension and a bit of color. My girls love how it turned out- I wonder what Moose would say? lol

pp: Fancy Pants Christmas Magic
chipboard alpha: Making Memories
alpha: American Crafts
snowflakes: K&Co
stickles: Ranger
punch: American Crafts Knock Outs and Fiskars

You can see the super fun sketch here (one of my favs!), as well as what some of the other girls on the team did.

Thanks for stopping by! I am enjoying the sounds of the morning- the birds are singing, the rain is gently falling, and the air smells fresh and clean, even though it is muggy and heavy. I truly enjoy my mornings. How about you? I hope you have a blessed day. :)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

fun with bubble wrap

This layout was inspired by a challenge by our June guest designer for Memorable Seasons. Her challenge this month was to create a page using bubble wrap. I had all kinds of fun with this one and really let my creativity run loose. I love how playful and whimsical this layout is- it suits Skylar's personality to a "T"!

Thanks for stopping by! :)

Monday, June 18, 2012

an update on Ashlyn

My heart continues to break for my sweet Ashlyn. Late last week we got some more bad news about her most recent blood work, and it was not good. In fact those were the exaxt words that were used by the GI nurse when she called me on Thursday. I cannot say that I was surprised, in fact I think we all knew that this was going to be the case. We have not seen improvement on her pain, her nausea, or other symptoms, and with her levels running high both times before when she had this test, it would have been more shocking had her body accepted the medication as it should have.

Although we drastically reduced Ashlyn's dose of Mercaptopurine 6 weeks ago, her levels are still off the charts and we had to stop the medication asap so as not to increase her risk for permanet damage to her body. The good news is that at this point the mercaptopurine has seemed to not leave any permanent damage to her system, so that is a blessing. She will never be able to take this class of medication again; the 6MP class- this is a problem as this is a great maintenance medication.

These are what we are adding:

with just a phone call she went from 4 pills a day up to 12 a day with a weekly injection.

She is really throwing her doctor for a loop as she is not presenting in "textbook manner". This has always been something we have joked about, but it gets less "funny" each time her bloodwork comes back like this. Her ESR levels are elevated, which indicates more inflammation, so we are back to square one with her Crohns (in fact this could mean that the disease is rapidly progressing). Her vitamin D levels are extremely low, as well as her albumin levels (she is now considered to have hypoalbuminemia) this is a huge mystery and can be very dangerous. Basically her body is presenting itself as malnourished even though she has been taking in an excess of calories; we are running her tube feeds 23 hours a day and she is also drinking an additional 355 calories. This is going to be moitored weekly and if these levels don't rise, then who knows what will happen; it almost appears that food is harming her more than helping her- it's just weird. Most likely there is a lot of active disease in her small intestine, where the nutrients and vitamins are absorbed, and these are not being abosrbed, instead they are just passing through quickly and basically running through her without doing any work.

We started high doses of Entocort (an oral steroid medicationon) Friday. She will take a high dose of the Entocort for 4 months and then we'll see about tapering her down. This is not the usual way to take this medication, especially for a child, but we've got to get some of the inflammation down because this is what could be causing her to be malnourished.

We added more Vitamin D as well as some Folic Acid pills daily.

She will start weekly injections of  Methotrexate tomorrow. It's another Immunosuppresant (just as the steroids are). The side effects are nasty, and wll more than likely make her sick. She will have to have a shot in her belly every week, but surprisingly she is not worried about the shot, and neither am I. She's a pro with needles and she is more worried about having to have bloodwork done every Tuesday as well for the next 4-6 weeks. She's had hundreds of blood draws during the last 18 months- sometimes twice a day. She is tired of having her arms poked.
I have all the needles and the medication and a handy at home Sharps container, but the doctors are worried about her having an allergic reaction r other "difficulties" with the Methotrexate (since she does have several allergies to medications as well as intolerances) so her first 3-4 injections will be done at the office so they can montior her closely.

This is a huge setback for her. She has reached her limits and just wants to feel good. I know it is hard for her to see the neighbor kids running around, having a great time while she is pretty much stuck in bed yet another Summer. This will be treatment #3 for her Crohns in a very short time period. I just pray this works for her.

I am usually pretty good about bouncing back from all the negatives and I work to find the ray of sunshine in the dark, but I am struggling terribly this time. I find myself crying several times a day and it physically hurts to breathe sometimes. I don't know if it's because I am just waiting for tomorrow and her first injection, or if it's the stress of knowing that the next few weeks of bloodwork are crutial, or if it's that everything that I have read and talked to the dr. about this disease and how horrible it can be seems to be coming true for her.

I just wish it were me, not her, having to endure this. But I can guarantee that she is handling this with more grace and strength than I could. She is truly remarkable in her courage and endurance. She is just one amazing sweet girl and I am blessed that I am able to take this journey with her, even if it is a long, uphill climb.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Memorable Seasons LSS challenge week & MOTM lo

Hi! We are into week 3 of the Memorable Seasons Last Scrapper Standing contest and it is my week to host the challenge. I decided to do a doodling challenge for a couple of reasons;  first these super fun, colorful and playful Amy Tan Sketchbook papers just led me in this direction. ;) Secondly, it's a challenge and I don't see a lot of doodling going around, at least in the Memorable Seasons gallery.

Here is my layout:

I kept it simple and just added lines and doodling around each sheet of pp I used. The exception is the yellow squiggles- these are printed on the paper. I even free-handed the title and cut around them.

Although the challenge is well underway, you can still join in on the fun! Check it all out here.

Each month, Memorable Seasons also features a Member of the Month, in which the DT picks a member and we each scraplift one of their layouts. This is my "lift" of the June MOTM, again featuring my kit items from the Amy Tan Sketchbook collection:

you can find all the details about this by visiting the MS message board.

Thanks for dropping by- I hope you have a wonderful week ahead! :)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

LCTS #136- they are having a designer call

Hi! The school year is winding down here, only today and a few hours tomorrow left for this year. I cannot believe Ashlyn made it through 6th grade. I am beyond exhausted and ready for a break, and I know she cannot wait to be able to sleep in and allow her body to get the extra rest it so desperately needs.

This year has been full of big acoomplishments for her as well as huge setbacks. I started this school year feeling hopeful and positive because Ashlyn finally had a diagnosis, appeared to be on track for remission, she was finally strong enough to go to school, and managed to do pretty well especially in the beginning. She had some great weeks followed by a few bad days, but as time moved on the bad days began to be the norm and a good day was hit and miss, and then reality hit and it has been a long, hard road to travel, especially since January when her health really started to decline and hasn't bounced back at all.

I have been furiously trying to work on a plan that will work for Ashlyn's academic needs as well as her medical needs for 7th grade, but I am coming to a stand still- just when I think I have a plan, something impeeds and we are back to square one. I am at a loss, really, as what to do. As it is now, she can barely attend the two hours that we have cut her down to. She has still continued to miss more school due to fevers, nausea, or just plain not feeling well enough to get out of bed. And when she is feeling well enough, just the two hours of school she does attend leaves her pale and exhausted and more often than not she gets a low-grade fever and ends up in bed for hours just trying to recover. *heavy sigh*

I suppose I will just stick to my original plan of waiting until August to figure this out. It will all work out, it really will- sometimes I just like to try to get ahead of the game and that is apparently not what God has planned. :)

Before I share my layout for Let's Capture These Sketches, I want to point out that they have several calls for designers. You can check each call out by heading to the main blog here. It's been an sheer delight to be on this team and the sketches are always wonderful! I encourage you all to apply. I will not be submitting to this call at this time, but some of my most favorite layouts have been created using these sketches. My creativity has been stretched and I know the gorgeous sketches were the starting point for them.

Here is my layout for sketch #136:
I used some Scenic Route, MME, Bo Bunny pp, the flowers are AC Amy Tan, and the stickers are from Jillibean Soup and Sasafrass Lass. The Twinery twine, K&Co. Smash tape, and some ink and bling finish this off.

Have a great day friends! :)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

CMS challenge #5 and more

Hi! Today I finally have a chance to share the layout I created for the guest desginer spot that I was lucky to have been selected for from the Color Me Scrappy blog. :)

As soon I recieved the color scheme, I knew exactly which papers and photos I was going to use with it.

here is the "feathered" color palette for challenge #5:

and my layout:

I used some Studio Calico as well as some of the LYB Saturday's collection for this. I added some paint, ink, and torn edges for a distressed look. These resin starfish covered with sand were the perfect addition- I came across these a few weeks ago when Ashlyn and I purged my stash.

The ladies on the team totally rocked this challenge! Be sure to check out their beautiful layouts as well as submit your take on the colors here.

In addition to the guest spot, I also won a great kit from Peace, Love & Scrapbooking. Here is a layout I created with the May kit.

As I am not generally a fan of colored cs, I used some Kraft cs from my stash and added some Glimmer Mist. Everything else is from the kit.

Thanks again for the wonderful kit and opportunity to be a guest designer!

Before I sign off, I have a sweet photo of Ashlyn and our puppy, Moose, who is 7 months old now. He and Ashlyn were snuggled up and I snapped a photo before I had to disturb them- he was laying on Ashlyn's feeding tube and was causing it to stop the flow. I really hated to wake him up, but once I adjusted her tube they were able to continue to snuggle.

Have a beautiful day!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Memorable Seasons June DT kit- first of my projects

Hello! I got to work with the super fun Amy Tan Sketchbook collection for my June kit with Memorable Seasons.

As I was browsing through photos, these photos of Emily popped up and were absolutely perfect to use with these papers- they were made for each other. lol

I used some thickers and yellow MLS stickers from my stash as well as the rhinestones.

I also have a card to share:

I receieved a sheet of mini oragne alpha stickers and to be perfectly honest, I didn't really like the orange with the other bright and fun papers, so I needed a creative way to utilize them so I could say that I used everything that I was sent. ;) Once I used some of the letters on the stems, I had an idea- I punced circles out of the alpha sheet and then applied some sparkle Mod Podge atop. Then I adhered other punched pieces to finish the flowers. I really like the end result!

Memorable Seasons is hosting the 3rd annual Last Scrapper Standing contest. There is still time to get in on this as the first challenge layout isn't due for a few days. Even if you are looking for some challenges and do not want to be a part of the competition, we'd love to have you! This contest started on Friday, June 1st and will last through the end of July. You can check out all the details HERE.

I hope your week is off to a great start! :) I am dragging and not feeling all that well today today- mostly run down with a sore throat and cold like symptoms- pretty much how Ashlyn constantly must feel now. :( I work, have some errands to run, dinner to make and then maybe I'll find some scrappy mojo. I just wasn't feeling it this weekend so I didn't scrap at all.

I'll be back tomorrow with a layout I have been dying to share. lol

Saturday, June 2, 2012

SWAT June sketch and LCTS #134

Hello! I have several new things to share, but I don't want to put everything in one post, so I will slowly trickle them in over the next few days.

First off is the June SWAT reveal. This monthhe Twist is to incorporate fabric on the page. You can find the wonderful sketch here, as well as the gorgeous layouts from the DT girls!

I pulled out some old Basic Grey pp for this one, as well as my glitter- the title and each of the embellies have glitter. I wish I could have had a brighter image to share.

*Just a note- SWAT is looking for a sketc designer. If you are interested, check out this post.

Here is my take on sketch #134 from Let's Capture These Sketches (I am a week late posting this):

Again, the team does stellar work and I am always in awe of what they create!

thanks for stopping by- have a beauiful day! :)