{Imagine – Altered Cabinet Card Canvas}

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In the heat of this week, I started working on this project the other day. The colors were selected because I wanted to think “cool”! I started out with a old cabinet card and started to apply different layers of paint in various hues. Building the paints is always what takes forever. I went back over it with a honeycomb mylar stencil I had. I then applied some paper doilies, ephemera (butterfly wings), and printed out some computer text which I chalked in as well to give it that pink hue. I diluted white paint with water on a paper plate and went back over it yet again to give it that washed look.

Once I had the cabinet card done, I did the same to an 8 x 10 canvas. When the canvas was to my liking, I used E6000 glue and adhered the card directly to the canvas. I added a few mother of pearl buttons and called it done.

I hope you are staying COOL wherever you are! :-)

{Summer Breeze Fabric Collage Festoon}

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I finally finished this fabric festoon I have been working on the past few weeks. Something fun and a little vibrant. I used a mixture of images on this one and adorned the pieces with eyelet and mother of pearl buttons. The panels are a little larger then I normally design with, but I am pleased with the results.

{A Little Faith…Hope…and One Year Later}

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Photo from Pinterest

Hello!
Today marks my one year anniversary or surviving my pontine stroke. I truly do not believe a year has gone by already. It seems just yesterday, I was living at the hospital and attending PT/OT twice a day. I know that I have gained so much back in the past year, but some days it seems like I am still taking “baby steps” on this long road to recovery. For many of you, you really do not have any idea about what someone goes through when they suffer a stroke. That is not meant in a bad way, it is meant in that we really do not educate those about it. My Uncle (Dad’s brother) had two, and other then he had trouble walking and with the use of his side…I really NEVER knew.

So in reflecting on my own stroke, I am going to share details about myself. Remember…EACH stroke is different because it HITS everyone in different areas of their brain. No recovery is the same as well. That is one of things probably most frustrating because it is all a wait and see game.

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I had what is known as a “pontine stroke” or a stroke that was in the brain stem. I feel very fortunate because doctors remind me all the time how lucky I am to be here still. They do not see many survive this type of stroke because the brain stem is “prime real estate”. I was also lucky that the stroke did not effect my memories severely as it does so many. I do have trouble remembering things more with short term memory then long term.

A little photo montage of this past year…

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Most stroke patients are looking at a minimum of 2.5 years in recovery. If they gain back certain things the first few years, their outlook for regaining even more is said to be better (according to the doctors)

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These are a few things I still struggle with daily:

My brain/upper forehead still feel numb. It feels like I was at the dentist and I had Novocaine injected in it. They don’t know if this feeling will go away or not.

My right hand is still numb, but my it is not freezing cold to the touch like it was. My right foot is also connecting better to the brain and is no longer always freezing cold. They do *occasionally* act up. The brain is reconnecting with all of this. I may get it back and I may not.

I still struggle with writing. I am not driving. I tire easily. I walk with a cane when I need balance. The stroke effects the vertigo and depth perception part of my brain.

My right leg (calf) spasms and tones constantly. I try to do stretching exercises as much as possible to elevate some of this pain.

My right shoulder (rotator cuff) is always in pain. Physical therapy has helped this, but this is a very common problem among survivors.

My right knee gives out often.

When it rains or snows the barometric pressure effects my motor skills greatly. I have trouble with just about anything.

Your chances of having a stroke increase when:

You smoke.
You are diabetic.
You have a family member that suffered one.
You have high blood pressure.
You suffer from migraines.
You eat crappy food as your main diet.
You are African American.

There are many other risk factors…you can find more here:
www.stroke.org

I thank each of you for being here and supporting me during my road to recovery! It still is a long and winding road,
but the first year is now behind me. Bless You! <3

{Summer Breeze}

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On a beach near Cheboygan, Michigan photo taken by my daughter Allison

My daughter went up “north” as we call it here in Michigan for the Fourth of July weekend. She sent me beautiful photos of where she was staying with friends. A lovely cottage along the shores of Lake Huron. The photos helped me feel I went somewhere too! I am hoping to get “up north” this summer before it quickly fades away. Since I have not created anything, I thought I would share some photos that remind me of summer.

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I hope you are enjoying summer wherever you are! :)