Thursday, April 29, 2010

Heaven in Half Scale! New Greenleaf laser cut dollhouse kits in 1:24

 Have you seen?  Have you heard?   Greenleaf just released *7*........yes, count them.............SEVEN brand new laser cut kits in half scale.  Yep, you heard that right, they're 1:24 and they are simply to die for!

I'm not sure which one I want to do first.  The Chantilly jumps right out at me coz she's a chatty girl and I haven't had a chance to build her in full scale yet.  But I'm also working on a full scale Tennyson right now and how cool would it be to do one in half scale at the same time???  The full size is going to be a light and airy sea side house and it would be sooooooo much fun to do the half scale in opposite and make it dark and gothic.   Then there's my massive and long time urge to build an old west ghost town which would have the Brimbles and the Taft as anchor houses.  The only thing that has held me back is not having enough space for a ghost town but with half scale, there's nothing to hold me back anymore!

Of course there's the half scale Rosedale which would be really cool since I'll be starting on a full scale Rosedale within the next few weeks and it would be fun to do them together like the Tennyson.   I've always wanted to do a Buttercup as a church and the half scale is perfect for that.  The Jefferson isn't being chatty yet, but you know how those Colonials can be a little on the quiet side.  When it's ready, it'll talk.

There's the half scale lighthouse too which was released awhile back.  I have it assembled and ready to paint so I can already tell you how truly fabulous these half scale kits are in laser cut!  You simply cannot believe how finely detailed they are!  There's virtually no sanding at all and the wood is beautiful.  Greenleaf announced today that they're using a high quality maple plywood for the half scale kits that is thinner and more in proportion with the half scale.    Be still my heart!  This just keeps getting better and better and better!

Okay, so now that I've rambled about them, you have to go see them!   They're a Greenleaf exclusive right now so this is the only place you're going to find them.  Those prices are awesomely affordable too!

This is perfect timing for Mother's Day!  What a great gift it would be!    Since I'm not a mom I have to be creative about getting a gift on Mother's Day and it's usually from my cat.  

 Here you go baby.  Put your little paw on that mouse and click here for Mom........    Hey, whatever works!  

You NEED at least one of these kits.  Trust me, even if you've never built a dollhouse before and even if you've always been scared by smaller can build these houses!  They're easier than full scale!  I always thought smaller scales were harder but they're not so don't let any apprehension hold you back.  Get a half scale kit and give it a try.  I promise you that you'll be soooooo happy that you did!

Oh, and just as an FYI, I'm already planning on moving into half scale dressed furniture in the very near future.  I've already decided on some beautiful bedroom and living room sets and will be spending this weekend at the  quilt show getting fabrics that work in half scale.  I'm planning on selling full sets of furniture when I launch my half scale line----------so instead of just a dressed bed, it will be a dressed bed along with matching nightstands and dressers and armoires...........or parlor furniture with tables to match.   So if you were worried that you won't be able to find artisan furniture for your half scale dollhouse, you can count on me to make sure there are some beautiful choices out there (including custom orders) and it will all be affordable.   I know that sounds like I'm promoting myself but if you know me, you know that my main goal is to make sure that miniaturists get what they need and love.

Let's celebrate!    It's a wonderful mini day!!



And then again, maybe not

So the surgery didn't work out quite like I planned.  Actually, it didn't work out at all because the oncology surgeon turned out to be a huge asshole.  When I got the the report from the oncologist and it was totally different from what he told me in the office. The report says that he doesn't think there's any reason to take out my thyroid except to "ease the patient's perception of discomfort, breathing problems, and fear of cancer". It continues to say that he thinks the several suspicious nodules are all benign and he considers my history of thyroid problems to be unlikely because radical changes in thyroid levels simply don't happen. He finished up with "I'm demanding that she consult with an endocrinologist even tho she says she's had issues with them in the past and will only perform the surgery based on the opinion of the endocrinologist. I will be happy to cancel this surgery."

That is SO not what he told us in the office! I have no idea what made him change his mind. Why would he schedule the surgery if he doesn't think that I need it?  And why is he completely overlooking that I have at least 8 nodules that are around 3cm and somewhere around *12* that are under 2cm.  How much room does he think there is in there anyway and why the hell else does he think it's difficult for me to breathe?  I really think that the simple test of "When I look down at my feet I can't breathe anymore" is fairly conclusive.  There is also the fact that there are more nodules than there were 2 years ago and I'm no longer on any medication to control the growth or multiplication of them thanks that that first endo who took me off the tapazole I'd been on for 14 years and started all this.    The oncologist also mentioned that there are SEVERAL nodules with microcalcifications, not just the one nodule that the internist told me about.  There sure weren't any microcalcifications in there two years ago and the development of those alone is scary enough.  

So, WTF?  I threw my hands up in disgust and cancelled the surgery, fired the oncologist and the quack internist, and I'm starting all over.  Again.  I can't even begin to describe how devastating this is to be so close to a resolution only to have it snatched away like that.  I don't often wish bad things on people, but I think that both of those doctors need to spend some time being as sick as I have been and go thru the same bullshit about not getting treatment. 

 I'm not going to dwell on that.  Right now I need to focus on starting all over again and trying to find someone who can help.   This time I'm going to the local university hospital in the hopes that they'll have a more open mind than the oncologist who said "Deborah doesn't fit the template of thyroid issues that I've seen before".    I hate that whole attitude that something can't exist just because it's different from the textbook.   I heard all that song and dance when I started going thru menopause at age 27.  The doctor I was seeing then flat out said I was just too young and put me on Prozac.  That's the same thing the quack internist wanted to do because he doesn't believe I could possibly have any endocrine issues that he hasn't heard of before.  I got news for these doctors, the problem is NOT depression and it's NOT in my head!  My mother had the same bizarre endocrine system I do and so did my grandmother.  We're not normal but it doesn't mean we don't deserve to receive proper medical care.  What I do need is for someone in the medical world to get up off their ass and work at a diagnosis! 

 I'm sorry y'all.  I'm really emotional about all this and for a change I'm sort of losing my cool about it.  I mean, I already had my bag packed for the hospital because I was so thrilled about the chance to get better.  Every time I've thought about that surgeon's letter for the past two weeks I've burst into tears. 

Anyway, I was going to tell you about the University.  There is a qualification process before being accepted by one of the doctors and after a lot of tense waiting I found out this week that I qualify and was accepted.  Yay!  I won't be seeing the head of the department but I don't really care.  I'll see their janitor if he knows how to fix me!  The doctor I'm seeing is a woman and at the risk of sounding sexist, I'm glad about that.  Maybe a woman will have more compassion in addition to being more accepting of the fact that hormones--whether estrogen or thyroid--can be completely unpredictable.   She specializes in the balance of thyroid hormones which gives me hope that she won't just look at a set of numbers and say "well, those are all in normal ranges" and send me away.   Personally I think that the numbers are all a moot point compared to the physical size of the thyroid and nodules and the health complications they cause but we've got to start somewhere.  And maybe she'll be able to see the overall picture and put together the puzzle pieces of all my endocrine problems to find a cause.  And sometimes when I dream, I have a pony.  LOL  But maybe, just maybe, she'll understand what's going on.

I'm hopeful.........ever hopeful.   There's probably going to be another fight later on if surgery is ever confirmed since the insurance company will probably refuse if they got a copy of the oncologist's report.  As much of an asshole as he is, I'm sure he sent them a copy too since he made sure to send a copy to every doctor he knows I see as well as four endos that he thought I might possibly see.   But if the new doctor is good at what she does, she'll have people who can fight the insurance company for me too.  And my pony.

I'm not giving up yet.  I see the new endo on the 4th so keep your fingers crossed for me.  Maybe she'll finally be the one who can help.

I never like to end on a negative note and there's always something positive about miniatures.  This time the positive is that a new mini shop in New York is going to be carrying my work soon.  Yay!  How cool is that!!    No matter what else happens, minis make life good.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Good news!

I realized this morning that I hadn't shown some new pieces of furniture yet!  Shame on me for being stingy with the eye candy!  This pretty green silk set is called "Gloucester in Green" and is custom dressed for a gorgeous Gloucester mansion.  The buttons on the upholstery are chrome delica beads in the exact same shade of green as the upholstery and the accent pillows and throw are a soft ecru with a teeny ivy print.

This swan chaise and matching chairs are also custom dressed and will be living in the same house as the elegant library set that I recently dressed.  These pieces will be in the games room with chess tables and pool tables and dart boards.  I love the combination of buttery yellow stripes with the black and red pillows.  There will be drapes to match soon, so stay tuned for updates!

I want to thank everyone for all the support you've given me about my health issues.  There's good news too! I saw the oncologist yesterday and he immediately said that he wants to do a full thyroidectomy!  Yay!  I'm gonna get my throat cut after all!   LOL  He said the danger of cancer is too great to do a partial even tho they won't know that it's cancer for sure until they get it out and get the pathology report.  Right now I don't much care if it is or if it isn't.  The main thing is that it's coming out and I won't have to worry about it anymore!  (I'd been seriously considering doing it myself with my dremel and some duct tape!)   I'll only be in the hospital for two days and then there will be that energy drop while I go euthyroid.  (I'm already so tired that I don't think I'll notice an energy drop at all!)  After that, I'll get stabilized with thyroid suppliments and have a nice, consistent hormone level for the first time since I was 8 years old.   The surgery is set for May 17th.

There's only one little potential complication and that's my heart.  There's always a risk of a thyroid storm on the operating table and since I already have an accelerated and irregular heart beat that's a concern, but the oncologist said the risk of cancer outweighs it so unless I have a bad ekg or something in my pre-op checkup the week before the surgery, we're good to go.  

I did get one surprise this week at my appointment with the internist.  I mentioned my concern about my oxygen saturation levels and how it might effect the fibromyalgia so he said we'd test it right there.  I started out at 92% so he told the nurse to take me for a walk around the nurse's station.  It dropped to 88%.  He told her to take me on one more lap and halfway thru she looked at the meter, looked at me and yelled, "Oh my god!"  I wish they wouldn't do that!  I thought I was fine till she yelled and then she scared the shit out of me!  LOL!   My sat level had dropped to 81% and I guess I looked like I was going to faint so she grabbed one arm and the doctor came running down the hall and grabbed the other arm and they half carried me back to the exam room.  I wasn't sure what the fuss was about since I'm sort of used to hanging onto walls.   But as soon as I got home, someone showed up with an oxygen concentrator and some portable tanks and here I am hooked up to an air hose.  It's not so bad since I think that the oxygen smells a little like rain but it's a bit disconcerting to have to have help doing something that I've done all my life.  

They did a chest xray to see if the breathing problem is something in my lungs and I had a copy of the results sent to the oncologist.  He said the xray looked good with no sign of emphysema or other lung issues so it's probably got something to do with my heart.  Personally, I'm pretty confident that when the thyroid comes out, the heart issues will resolve themselves.  Even tho my thyroid lab tests are all "normal", it doesn't mean that everything is okay.  When they first found the nodules back in '97 I tested hypo (low) so they put me on a thyroid supplement and three weeks later I was in the emergency room in a full blown storm and my labs all showed me to be way too high.  According to the doctors, that's impossible and could never happen.  So when they tell me that my "normal" thyroid couldn't possibly be causing cardiac symptoms that are stereotypical of Grave's Disease I just smile and nod.  There's no point in arguing with them about something they swear could never happen.  I already know that I don't fit into their medical mold (and I don't think that many other people do either!)  The main thing..........the best that they'll get this horrid, lumpy, toxic thing out of my throat.  I know that I'll feel better right away just by getting that mass of negative junk off of my throat chakra and the rest will all fall in place as I recover.

Oh, I have to share one more thing.  Last week I finally gave in and bought a walking cane.  I've been in denial about needing one but my best friend is coming up from Oklahoma at the end of the month so we can go to the quilt show and that was the final motivator I needed.  I want to be able to enjoy the quilt show as much as possible and having something to lean on will make it easier for me to get around the whole show.  I admit that my vanity was taking a hit about it till I realized that there are some really cool canes out there!  These are not my mother's canes!  They've got some awesomely nifty designs to choose from and that made it much easier.  I finally settled on a emerald green "cyclone" design with a cherry wood handle.  It almost looks like tiger stripes if there were such a thing as a chrome tiger in emerald green.  So for the quilt show, I'll use my wicked-cool cane and carry my oxygen tank in a leopard print shoulder bag that's big enough to also hold my shopping treasures.    Yep, I might look like an old lady, but I'll be a stylish old lady!

Back to miniatures now!  I have a lull in orders which is good timing because I need to do something for myself now.  Some of y'all know how much I've been looking forward to building my Sea Side Resort Tennyson and I put it into dry fit earlier this week.  Ooooooooooh, it's sooooooo pretty!  This house has a small footprint, but there's a lot of house there!  The rooms are really nice sized and I love the huge attic.  I have all the furniture for it already and every single piece is white wire wicker.  That sounds a bit monochromatic and it is but I'll be adding color with upholstery and accessories that will create a very unique decor.  This is a laser cut kit too so it will go together pretty fast.  I have my wallpaper all selected as well as the flooring.  I just need to order the lights and we're all set.  I wonder if I can get it built before the middle of May?    I think I'll give it a try!