Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Life Update #2

For those who occasionally stop by... I'm still here. 

This has been one of the hardest years of my life, but I'm still here.

In happy news, I'm relieved to say that my husband is doing very well. His symptoms are under control, his two 9-hour surgeries have been successful. We're mostly just in the watch-and-wait part of his treatment. Which is good! I am so, so grateful.

In not-so-happy news, last month I had a miscarriage. We've been trying for 8 years to have children, and this was the closest we have gotten. I'm still hopeful! Very hopeful, in fact. But there is still grieving involved. Just... dang.

Oh, and a bunch of raccoons tried to eat their way through our roof.

The yellow foamy stuff is what we added from the inside to try to keep it
from leaking everywhere before we could get it fixed.

There's other stuff, too, but that's enough for this blog post. So much hardship and grieving and pushing forward... and, ultimately, peace in knowing that it will get better. God is good, and it will get better. Just have to keep going.

When will I post jewelry again? Who knows. I want to. I truly want to. I am just taking it one day at a time... because, honestly, that is all I can do. And that is okay.

Have a lovely day, everyone. Thanks for stopping by. I truly appreciate you, and wish you all the best.

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Life Update (i.e. Where Have I Been?)

Hello, all!

I do still really want to get back into the swing of posting here. 

In fact, I have completed the last two months of the Honey Do Challenge from SJ Designs Jewelry... I just haven't had time to post pictures. I completed last month's Pretty Palettes challenge... I just haven't had the time to post pictures. 

I have even been working on my personal Clean Off My Beading Table Challenge... but, I'm sure you sense a theme: I just haven't had the time to post pictures.

So, what have I been doing?

Getting my bathroom remodeled, for one. Getting the front porch and the room beneath it waterproofed. Getting the large gash in my kitchen wall patched up.

And taking care of my husband.

View from the hospital room after his Friday surgery,
up at Wexner Medical Center, OSU.

He's had more doctors' appointments than I can count. He's had multiple outpatient procedures done, some close by and some at Wexner Medical Center (OSU) in Columbus--an hour and a half away.

And just this last Friday, he had a 9.5 hour surgery. In Columbus.

The specialists at OSU are working on fixing the massive AVM he has in his leg/groin--but it will take at least another two such surgeries to complete the task. They're essentially having to rebuild a section of his vascular system, on the main vein in his leg. They got a lot done this surgery, but there is so so much more left to do.

Medical explanation time! 

What is an AVM? It stands for arteriovenous malformation, which is essentially an abnormal tangle of blood vessels connecting arteries and veins. This disrupts normal blood flow and oxygen circulation. In my husband's case, it is huge... AVMs are usually less about 2 cm, but his is at least 10 cm. The vein in his left leg is swollen to 5 times the size of the one in his right leg. 

This has caused high output heart failure--his poor heart is having the blood returned to it at a much higher volume/pressure than it is built to handle. It has also impacted his left kidney--one of the bogus blood vessels leads to his kidney--flooding it with blood and causing hematuria.  

Essentially: YIKES. But modern medicine is pretty amazing, and God is even more amazing, and we are making progress to getting him back to healthy. His case is just so unique, and every doctor he's seen has been amazed and perplexed by the expansiveness of the problem--apparently I married a medical unicorn!

So... yeah. That's what I've been up to. Progress is being made, steps forward are being taken... and eventually I will be back to posting pictures of pretty jewelry. In the meantime, I'm just putting one foot in front of the other!

I really appreciate you taking the time to stop by my little blog, and reading through what's been going on. I am incredibly grateful, and hope you all have wonderful days.

Thank you so much for stopping by!

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

January 2022 Reveal - SJ Designs Jewelry Honey Do List Design Challenge

...As soon as I thought I was getting back into the swing of posting on my blog, life decided to throw me another curve ball--this time, in the form of my husband being in the hospital for two weeks with a series of unusual and nerve-wracking symptoms. Ack!

Thankfully, he is home and stable now. His health issues are not over, but they are fixable. And we have a plan, with a whole barrage of appointments scheduled as a result.

All of that, to explain why I'm late posting the reveal for SJ Designs Jewelry's January Honey Do List Challenge.

Here is the picture that Eric picked for the challenge:

Here is what he had to say about it:
Sorry we dropped off on challenges there at the end of 2021, but I've been taking more pictures and feeling more motivated already this year! This month's challenge is a cool ice sculpture from the MN Landscape Arboretum's Winter Lights display.  They did a special photographer only night that Sarajo got me into, which let us take tripods in and get high quality pictures.  I thought the juxtaposition of winter and ice along with butterflies and flowers was a pretty evocative challenge piece!  Good luck this month and get making!

I made two pairs of earrings for this challenge. 

I even made them on time! (Even if I'm late in posting them.)

I enjoyed the color palette and the butterfly theme in the photo--hence why I took those aspects and ran with them. :)

I know this is a short little entry, but thanks so much for stopping by... Have a wonderful day, everyone!

Friday, January 28, 2022

Wonder and Whimsy Monthly Challenge - January 2022 Reveal

It's the last Friday of the month... which means that it's reveal time! Woo-hoo!

As a bit of refresher, my challenge this month was to make jewelry with the Pantone 2022 Color of the Year.

I really love this color. It's a beautiful combination of purple and blue; at times it seems more violet, and then at others it looks more periwinkle.

...It is also almost identical to the color Tanzanite, as made by a certain Austrian crystal company. And so, as you might imagine, those crystals are what I used in the first set I made for this challenge:

I also found some lovely Czech glass in a similar shade. I decided to use them to make two different necklaces--one using silver metal, and one using gold.

The beads themselves are fairly substantial--10mm English cut--so I decided to only use a few per necklace. I feel like it showcases them a bit more, especially in juxtaposition to the chain.

And now it's time for some honorable mentions! 

I actually made two tassel necklaces for this challenge. Two! What can I say--this was a month for much wire-wrapping, hah.

The first tassel was made from the Allegory Gallery Kit called Daring Curiosity, which they made specially to complement Very Peri.

And the second tassel is also made in that colorway--but I count it as a honorable mention, because it was actually started years ago, for December 2017's Monthly Challenge

That challenge was to make jewelry based on The Nutcracker, and this is the necklace I planned for the Sugar Plum Fairy:

Five years later, and I finally finished assembling this necklace. Heh. The backlog on my craft table is rather embarrassing, I have to admit. It's what happens when my hands can't keep up with the ideas of my brain!

So, there you go! Those are the items that I made for this month's challenge. It does feel good to be back to blogging again, and creating for a challenge. 

Thanks so much for stopping by today to see what I made. I really appreciate it. I'm already planning my challenge for next month, so be sure to stop by again to see what I'm going to be up to.

Until then--have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Pretty Palettes - January 2022 Reveal

It has been quite some time since I've done a Pretty Palette reveal here on my blog. Mostly, I've been posting them to Facebook and Instagram.

Time to change that!

This month's Pretty Palette challenge is a lovely, fresh combination of colors that I normally wouldn't put together:

...and here is the tassel necklace that I made!

I couldn't help myself--I figured that it would be good to do a tassel, just to get myself back into the swing of things. It was fun trying to balance the different colors, ultimately resulting in a bright and cheerful necklace. I have plenty of beads leftover, too... I'm sure I will be visiting this palette again!

Thank you for stopping by today... I'm a bit rusty when it comes to blogging, but I'm having fun giving it another try. I really appreciate you stopping by!

Have a lovely night, everyone!

Friday, January 14, 2022

Welcome, 2022

I'm back!

I'm not going to lie--the end of last year was very, very hard for us. I'm not going to go into all of it here, but suffice to say, the last few months have been a doozy.

I have absolutely been missing it here on my blog, though. I'm hoping to get back into the swing of posting. So, I thought I was start with a good, old-fashioned Wonder and Whimsy Monthly Challenge.

This month's challenge? Make something with the 2022 Pantone Color of the Year:

I really love this color. Some of the other colors in the past have been a bit challenging for me (I'm looking at you, Illuminating and Ultimate Gray), but I'm really really looking forward to playing with this one.

Please come by on Friday, January 28 to see what I end up making!

Until then, have a wonderful day--and a good beginning to 2022--everyone!

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Still Here


I just wanted to do a little post to say that I'm still here. Life has been really hard these last few weeks, but I'm still here. 

For those who don't follow my Instagram, or haven't stopped by my store and seen the away message, my family is dealing with the death of a close friend to Covid. He had been living with us for the past 6, almost 7, years. He moved in with us when he fell on hard times, and we were working with him to help him get his own place. He fell sick while my husband and I were on vacation; the last time I talked to him in person was the day that we left. He died on September 3rd.

Everywhere I look, there are memories of him. There is a lot of work ahead of us, cleaning out his things and redefining our home... I need to remember to be patient with myself during the process.

I have no idea when I'll start posting here again. Soon, I hope--especially since creativity is a healing outlet for me. I just wanted to let everyone know what's been going on in my life, and that my absence isn't me just being negligent. There really is a lot going on.

Hold your loved ones close, and be kind to yourselves. I'll see you when I get back.

Thursday, August 12, 2021

Giveaway Announcement


I'm just popping in to let everyone know that I'm currently doing a giveaway on my Instagram, @anafiassa

What am I giving away? This journal and necklace set:

...What can I say, I've been having a lot of fun making journals and necklaces to match.

Be sure to stop by my Instagram to see more pictures--and, if you're interested, feel free to follow the rules to enter!

Best of luck, everyone!