Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Doin' the half scale happy dance (and a quilt show report)

By this time next week, I should be in half scale heaven.  I couldn't resist those sweet little houses.  Every single one of them is calling my name so I don't know which one I'll build first.  The Chantilly is being chatty already and I think she's going to want something very special but I'm not sure what it will be yet.  I'll wait till they arrive and we'll have some quality time together before I decide.  All I know is that I must build one of those sweethearts immediately!

As some of you know, my best friend of 31 years came up from Oklahoma this weekend and we went to the annual quilt show here in Denver.  It's sort of a tradition for us and we always have a great time.  This year was no exception.  There was a beautiful display of all sorts of quilts.  One of the most interesting was a panoramic wall quilt of a quilt show.  Yep, it was exactly how it sounds.  The artist had created several mini quilts and put them together in one panoramic piece, then added people in front of them.  The detailing was incredible.  The display curtains were left free on the bottom and sides so you could see the poles holding them up.   Some of the people in the quilt were taking pictures and the artist had put micro quilts on the back of the cameras so you could see what they were taking a picture of.   When we walked up to that display, there was a line of people standing in front of it and it truly created the most incredible visual effect of people looking at a quilt of people looking at quilts.  It took my eyes a minute to adjust!  As a miniaturist, this was definitely my favorite piece in the show because it was such a cool mini scene.   Even more fun is that we happened to come up when the artist was there and got to talk to her a little bit.  She shared some of the motivation behind bits and pieces of the quilt which was fascinating.

After we'd gone thru the show and had a bite of lunch, we headed for the vendors.  We were prepared with tote bags and boy, did we need them!!  Kathy found some beautiful fabrics that were perfect for a couple of projects she has coming up.  She also bought a state-of-the-art iron that does everything but wash windows.  We both did some stash enhancing.  When I saw a vendor selling Caryl Bryer Fallert fabric in 6"x44" rolls, I made a beeline for them!  These are ombre solids in the most mouthwatering and vibrant colors.  If you've never seen her work, drop in here http://www.bryerpatch.com/ and take a look.  You can see why I was so delighted to find her distinctive fabrics in just the right size cuts for what I need and I came away with 14 different rolls in all colors of the rainbow.  There will be some beautiful minis made from these fabrics!!  The hardest part is cutting into it for the first time.  It's such pretty fabric that I almost want to leave it whole so I can just sit and look at it.

We had planned on going to the mall on Sunday but the quilt show was a little more tiring than expected so we settled for going to the Great American Quilt Factory so Kathy could look for the one fabric she hadn't been able to find at the show.  It was a lucky decision because she found something even better that is going to be gorgeous in her wall hangings.  While she was matching swatches, I pillaged the remnants and fat quarter racks and came home with a dozen more teeny prints.  I think my biggest treasure of the whole weekend was finding a piece of fabric in an almost perfect Wedgewood blue with a delicate white floral spray design.  I've already matched it up with a pristine white fairy frost and it will be a beautiful parlor set soon.

Oh, I almost forgot!  One of the vendors was selling glass nail files.   We had to go check them out and you should have seen the look on her face when I asked her if they worked on wood.  *cackle*  She gave me the strangest look!!  I explained what I do and she understood a little bit better but still seemed to think it was an odd question.  However after looking at them closely, I decided to give it a try and bought a set of three.  I tried one out on a bit of scrap wood when I got home and it works wonderfully well!  The vendor had said that the glass seals the edges of what it's filing which is what made me think it would work on wood and it does!  I had nice smooth edges with minimal work.  Now that's a great find!

The weekend wouldn't be complete without good food and we definitely had that!  On Friday night Kathy and I went to our favorite chinese place where we can sit in a back corner and they'll feed us the best chinese food while we talk.  On Saturday we went to Olive Garden after the show and had a nice italian dinner and on Sunday I took Kathy to Rosie's Diner which is like a trip back in time.  It's an old railroad car diner complete with neon lights, a counter with stools, a bubbler jukebox and little juke boxes in the booths.  The food is just as retro and it's some of the best home cooking in the whole city.  All in all, it was a perfect weekend!

The newest update on the medical front is that I saw the endocrinologist at the University hospital this morning and she had a few surprises for me.   I told her about my endocrine history with some hesitation since every single doctor I've seen has told me that I must be full of shit because those things could never happen.  This doctor listened and said that it's definitely not normal, but situations like mine have been documented.  She also gave me a good explanation about why things had gone so bad when they took me off the meds I'd been on for 14 years.  I found myself nodding when she talked because she was giving me logical and informative reasons for some of the mysteries I've been facing...........things that other doctors have blown off as all in my head.

The biggest surprise was when she told me that my thyroid is actually two inches lower in my throat than where it should be!  This explains a whole lot!!!  It's lodged under my collarbone on the right side.  Now I've been telling doctors for the past two years that I have excruciating pain in my right collarbone, especially when I sleep on my right side or raise my right arm.  It makes sense that it would hurt like hell since it crushes my thyroid into the bone when I do.  *begin rant* For two years doctors have been telling me that the pain couldn't possibly be related to the thyroid at all.  I'd like to go tell each and every one of them that we're going to shove one of their testicles up under their hip bone and see how they feel.  *end rant*  I'm sorry for being so graphic but that's pretty much the equivalent of what I've been living with because they didn't notice that my thyroid might not be in the same place where they saw thyroids in pictures when they took Anatomy 101.

It occurred to me on the way home that this could be a lot of the problem with why my fibromyalgia is always in flare since there's a fibro pressure point in the same location.  I'll talk to my rheumatologist about that the next time I see her, but this could definitely be that "underlying cause" that has contributed to so much fibro pain.  And since the symptoms of fibromyalgia and Graves Disease are so much alike, it could definitely be why it's seemed like my thyroid has been the culprit.  In a way it is, but it's because of the size and location, not the hormone levels.  

Anyway, the new endo, Dr S., said that my thyroid is twice the normal size which by textbook definitions wouldn't cause the breathing and pain problems *except* for the fact that it's not where it's supposed to be!  In its current location, it can definitely cause the breathing and circulation issues and the pain.   She's going to arrange for me to have some pulmonary tests done first to determine exactly what's causing my oxygen saturation problems and she said that after she gets those tests she'll probably consult with a surgeon about getting rid of this mess.  (if there are any pulmonary issues, those will have to be stabilized first)  She said we need to consider the future as well as the present because there's nothing that can be done to stop the growth of the nodules.  The good news is that she's pretty sure they were wrong about the microcalcifications being cancer.  She wants to get actual copies of the pictures from my ultrasounds to be sure but she said it seems like it's probably crystallizations of thyroid hormones instead.  That sets my mind at ease a little bit, but she said that it's still like having a time bomb in my throat.  When I asked how long I have to live like this before something is done, she said that she'd do everything she could to make sure it wasn't much longer.  

I've been thru too many bitter disappointments to allow myself to be too optimistic, but as always, I'm hopeful.  And this doctor has given me a little more confidence that she knows what she's doing and will try to make things right.

So, a new doctor, a great weekend with my best friend, new fabric to play with and half scale dollhouse kits on the way!  Life is good!!

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