Monday, January 12, 2009

Craft Night at EtsyLabs

Just came back from Craft Night at EtsyLabs.

Tonight's project was creating a sugar scrub; a really fun project. I made mine with grapeseed oil and vanilla oil (and sugar, of course); smells wonderful! This demystified the process and allowed us to try it out without a major investment in materials. I think this might be the start of a whole new period of my experimentation in the area of bath and beauty products, though I don't know if they'll make it to my shop.

I always enjoy my Craft Night experiences, not only for the projects themselves, but for the opportunity to meet, speak to and interact with other crafters.

Here are some examples of items similar to what we learned about already on

Sweet Treat Whipped Cream Fluff Sugar Scrub by AnitaCraftyCreations

Foaming Bath Butter Sugar Scrubs with Jojoba Spheres by TheMermaidsTreasure

Foaming Sugar Scrub by EsanSpa

Satin and Lace SASSY Apricot Sugar Scrub by damagicmirror

Monday, January 5, 2009

A new year begins...

Christmas and New Year are behind us now and I'm already a bit behind on postings!

It seems that we no sooner got finished at the Craft Fair and we needed to prepare for Christmas at home. While we decided not to do the full court press on decorations, we decided on having a small gathering of family and friends for dinner on Christmas Day. We did the exact amount of cleaning necessary to prepare for guests and did some cooking and a lot of baking ahead of time.

Here are some cookie photos:

Think there's a market for this art form on

Then came the day after Christmas (Boxing Day, St. Stephen's Day) and we had a health scare with Meka, my assistance dog.

After preparing for and beginning our Christmas celebration with "Midnight" Mass on Christmas Eve and serving dinner to family and friends yesterday on Christmas Day, we awoke today with expectations of a lazy day of recovery and minor clean-up.

When Meka, got up to eat, I noticed and mentioned to my husband, David, that Meka seemed to be limping. He came back to lay at the foot of my bed and later when he attempted to get up, he seemed unable to do so and looked limp and lethargic. We were finally able to coax and cajole him up and got him to walk, though unsteadily. Once walking, he was able to continue, however his gait was not normal and fluid and as soon as he began to slow down, he seemed to want to sit or lie down or lean on who or whatever was close at hand.

I called our vet but upon discussion, we decided to take him for immediate emergency evaluation.

Meka stayed overnight at the Veterinary Emergency and Referral Group here in Brooklyn in order to receive supportive treatment and to be monitored.

After taking a history, the vet had noted that Meka was exhibiting neurological symptoms arising from two distinct areas in the brain, brain stem and cerebellar regions.

We could not recall any reason to believe that he had ingested anything toxic, nor had he suffered any trauma.

They did blood work and x-rays which were essentially normal and unremarkable.

After determining that the facility was fully staffed throughout the night and that his neurological status would be monitored throughout the night and could receive treatment as necessary, reluctantly agreed to have him stay.

I checked in by phone for updates at least five times between getting home and 5 AM.
The reports varied from "somewhat worse" to "more or less the same" to "somewhat better" throughout the night but all the staff I spoke to agreed that he was "sweet" and that when offered food, would eat (that's my boy!!).

Later in the morning, I had just picked up the phone and was just about to call to check in again and to say that we would be coming in to see how he was and what our next step would be, when the phone rang. It was one of the vets from VERG who told me that Meka was doing much better; that he was walking and moving more normally, was wagging his tail, seemed in good spirits, obeyed commands. He stated that he would like to discharge Meka this afternoon!

So, at about 4PM on the 27th of December, we went to collect him.

As I waited for a staff member to open accessible entrance door, I turned my wheelchair around and there was Meka, returning from a walk with a vet tech.

I don't know who was more pleased or excited!

We completed all the necessary debriefing; his IV catheters were removed; follow-up appointment made and we were on our way.

After settling him in, I needed to get to church because I was due to act as Lector at 5:30 PM Mass. Having done that, and answering lots of questions as to Meka's whereabouts both in church and on the way there and back, I arrived home to find David taking the photo below.

As you can see from the picture, he doesn't look quite his ebullient self; he's a bit weary looking and has his shaven "cuffs", but is not deterred from a good chew on a tennis ball.

We're had a follow-up appointment on Tues. with the staff surgeon who specializes in neurology at the center where we had Meka seen on Friday and Saturday. He said that he believed Meka had experienced a transient ischemic attack (TIA); that there was no way of knowing if or whether it could happen again or preventing it from doing so without exposing him to medications and or procedures which have their own risks and expenses. He stated that he didn't see a need for follow-up unless we saw further symptoms.

We'll do regular follow-up with our regular vet.

At the moment Meka's pretty much back to his old self and continues to do well. All in all this is the best outcome for which I could have wished.

I've got a few new items ready to post on within the next couple of days, and plans for several more soon after.