Catching up after a long time

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I have not posted on this blog for a long time because my life has changed dramatically. I plan to make the majority of this blog about my crafts, art, tutorials, links to great ideas, and inspiration. I want to  help you make something beautiful for someone you love, or for yourself!

But first, I will fill you in on the last few years. My husband began hospice care in July of 2015, and he lost his 4 ½ year battle to renal cell carcinoma (kidney cancer) on Nov. 29, 2015. Ever since his stroke in 2013, my husband and I had to make big changes. He had some dementia and lost strength in his arms and legs. His worn out knee replacement could not be replaced again, because his cancer was in his bones, and it would have spread the cancer faster. He was no longer a good surgery risk. He could no longer do the household chores, and with my disabilities, I cannot do much around the house. It was difficult, to say the least, for me to get much crafting or artwork done, between my chronic pain, the lack of organization, and overall chaos in my life. I devoted the majority of my limited energy and strength to taking care of my husband. I’ve had two spinal surgeries to reduce the pain from severe arthritis, and replace disks that have worn away due to severe degenerative disk disease. I also live with fibromyalgia, so my pain is constant. When I do work on my crafts, I can only do it in short bursts of time. I am having another surgery sometime this month, and I pray that I will get some relief from the constant pain.

After Ken’s stroke, we moved into my mom’s duplex, and she lives in the other unit. I have my daughter and her family across the street, so I have lots of nearby moral support, and intermittent help around the house. I am blessed to have my son, and two of my daughters and their families live nearby. The grandchildren certainly brightened Ken’s life right up until the end, and the grandchildren keep me laughing and fill my heart with joy!

And I almost forgot! I had weight loss surgery in March of 2015, so I could lose enough weight to allow me to have spinal surgery. I am down almost 100 lbs, and I still have some weight to lose. I stopped needing my blood pressure meds within a week of the surgery, and stopped my diabetes pills two weeks after the surgery. My motivation was for my health, and not my looks, and I think that is a big reason I’ve done well over one of the most difficult years of my life. I normally eat my way through stress, and I’ve been finding what I hope are healthier ways to cope.

I am back.

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I have my little helper with me. She loves stamping, and I taught her to pat, pat, pat on the inkpad, then stamp on the paper and press down. She loves to glue things with her glue stick. She is three, so I occasionally find teethmarks in the glue, and she likes to put blue stamp pad ink on her lips! It is non toxic; I checked!

It’s been a while!

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It’s been a LONG time since I posted. There’s been a lot going on in our world. Some of the best things are the addition of three new grandchildren this year! We were blessed with twin granddaughters in January, and a grandson in August! I adopted a cat last month and we formed an instant bond! I haven’t been crafting as much this past year, because after spinal surgery last year, my lower spine collapsed, accompanied with serious pain. My husband’s kidney cancer came back with a vengeance, and we’ve been busy fighting that battle! We have to make a big decision about whether to try a third type of chemo pill. The side effects are much worse than with the previous medication. We have to think about whether his quality of life will be worse while he is taking the pills. The pills are not a cure. They might keep the new tumors from getting worse, or possibly shrink some of them. Because of previous strokes and heart issues, surgery would be too risky, and some tumors would be hard to access. We are praying that we make the right decision.

Since my mobility has been limited, I have been Pinteresting (is that a word?) like crazy! I have lots of followers! Lately, I have been taking time to click to the original website before pinning, to avoid posting to risky links, or links that don’t have instructions. With over 9,000 pins, I am not close to having them all cleaned up, but I am working on it. My latest craft interest has been crocheting. I am working on getting Christmas gifts done, so I will post pictures soon! My Pinterest boards are listed under Kristy Speer if you are interested. I don’t have my own work on there, but I find plenty of interesting ideas! I have 66 boards and over 4500 followers, so I hope you will check it out!

Black and Yellow Mosaic Madness

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Black and Yellow Mosaic Madness

I made this card using, the Stampin Up Mosaic Madness stamp set, basic black, Crushed Curry, and Whisper White paper and inks, the Quaternary Designer Series Paper, and mosaic punch. I used three layers of punching to create dimension. I embossed  a piece of Whisper White card stock using the mosaic embossing folder. Then I punch out sections, so that I could use that piece sandwiched between the black underneath and the stamped mosaic images above the sandwiched piece.i used Dimensionals to raise the black and yellow punched pieces up higher than normal. The acetate overlay across the top really finished off the card nicely.

Stampin Up! Punch art-crawling baby

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Stampin Up! Punch art-crawling baby

I joined a Stampin Up summer swap and this is the punch art I came up with. While its not the only baby punch art that I’ve seen, it is the first one just like this. I used the bird punch for most of the body. I used the wings for arms and legs, and the hands and feet are cut from the little labels punch pack. I was especially happy with how well the little label punch,with just a snip here or there, made perfect little hands and feet. I found out that the cherries from the cupcake punch made perfect ears and  the bow. The eyes came from the candle flame of the cupcake punch. I used a little linen thread for the hair. I used circle punches and a scallop punch for the rest of the baby. I used Stampin Write markers to draw the face, and a dauber to add a little blush to the cheeks. I also inked around some of the edges.

CASE Copy and Share Everything

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112d437e11085824a29342b1abb1cd08 Aug_2013_Karen_swap_case

The card on the left is one I found on Pinterest and I decided to CASE. I made the card on the right.  I used Stampin Up Basic Black and Very Vanilla Card stock, Pearl Basic Jewels(119247), Designer Series Paper from the Modern Medley set (126926), the Decorative Label Punch (120907), and the Scallop Trim Border Punch (118402). The flower stamp is from the Best of 25 Years-Flowers set (133342) and the sentiment is from the Lacy and Lovely stamp set (122887) clear mount. I still need to learn how to make professional looking photos of my work like the one on the left!

kristyspeer.stampinup.net