Friday, November 30, 2012

Give (or get) the Gift of Creativity!

Looking for that perfect holiday gift for a creative friend? Does your husband keep asking what you want for Christmas? Are you a long-time Art & Souler who's always wanted to take so-and-so along with you (but she was a little short on funds)? Well, an Art & Soul gift certificate makes a great present for all these scenarios and more! It's a creative way to artfully thank someone this holiday. You can make your gift for any denomination. Just e-mail Glenny at and she'll get you taken care of right away!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Month Already?

My surgery was one month ago today.  I knew it would not be easy... but I did expect to rebound more quickly than I have. The combinations of internal discomfort along with the adjustments in diabetes have made for some difficult weeks.  

In the grand scheme of things, I am doing great! But I feel pretty miserable most of the time.  The best way to explain how I feel is to compare it to a hangover. A bit nauseous all the time and all I want to do is get my head on a pillow. The doctors assure me that it is just my body adjusting to its new way of living — but feeling crappy all day has not been pleasant.  It has put me way behind in work and — as many of you know — I have no patience for being DOWN. But I have no desire to do a damn thing. I can’t even focus on reading a book. All those plans of recovering while lounging on the couch with my embroidery have gone out the window. Just me, my pillow and Katie on the bed.

Attempting to regulate my blood sugar has become a challenge. The requirements for insulin change daily. I feel like a chemist.  Not to mention a pin cushion.  And making certain to ingest a minimum of 60 grams of protein daily continues to nag at me. I am now on Stage 3 diet... which is introducing “soft” foods. Scrambled eggs, cottage cheese, ground chicken, a bit of mashed potato — that type of thing.  Everything has to be moist, so I can have low fat gravy. No starch yet. And the one thing I am really missing is a piece of good French bread! Each day is a new adventure and I'll continue to bring you along with me as I move into this new lifestyle.

Weight loss to date: 24lbs!


Saturday, November 17, 2012

Art & Soul Radio... Tune in for Bonnie J. Smith: Having an Art Attitude, Nov 19th

Bonnie J. Smith is a fiber and mixed media artist. Her fiber art work has been featured in many national and international juried exhibitions and publications. Her fiber art titled "Color x 3" was juried into Quilt National 2011.  Bonnie was the recipient of the prestigious NICHE Award in 2009 for Fiber Art Quilts and was a finalist in 2010 & 2012. She is in love with texture and creating fiber art that flows, allowing the eye to appreciate her use of color and design.  Bruce Hoffman, formerly Director of the Snyderman Works Gallery, Philadelphia, PA. describes her work "Simple, powerful, successful: Design and craftsmanship working together."  All words every artist is waiting to hear.
Bonnie's art works are a dialogue with the viewer covering the topics; separation of church and state, racism and sexism. She is currently working on a large scale installation titled "Thoughts oft he Mind" dealing with religious bias. 
Bonnie is extremely accomplished but all her success wasn’t, as the saying goes, a walk in the park. I look forward to hearing her full story and sharing this inspiring woman with you.

So please join us for this inspirational chat...

Art & Soul Radio featuring Bonnie J. Smith

with Lesley Riley
Monday, November 19th
7:00pm EST

And don't forget, Art & Soul Radio's interviews are also available on demand, to listen to at your leisure. Check out what other mixed-media artists are doing and how they're living their lives with passion any time!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Day 10 Post-Op Notes...

It is day ten post-op and I’m still trying to get accustomed to the new daily routine. Living alone, food was not a priority — it was almost a nuisance. I would keep working until it was past time for some nourishment, and — not wanting to stop and take time to fix something decent — I would grab whatever was handy.  Could be cheese, crackers and vegggies or a cup of soup. Many times, I waited so long to eat that I began to feel horrible. Feeling nauseous, I would get shaky and begin to sweat.  I always had the best of intentions and would purchase healthy foods... I just wouldn't fix them.

Therefore, the restrictions of the post op bariatric diet did not seem insurmountable to me. Fluid, fluid and more fluid.  This includes 64 oz. of water a day, in addition to ingesting 60 grams of protein. Morning protein shakes have been my staple for years. Enhancing them into a daily regimen seemed a no brainier to me. I purchased unflavored protein powder to add to broth and other acceptable fluids in order to reach the 60 gram daily goal in addition to all types of high protein drinks.

At first, I didn't feel much like eating or drinking anything and it was a struggle just to get the necessary water.  After leaving the hospital, it became imperative to start the protein. The schedule has us ingesting something every hour. After the second day, I was already tired of the sweet protein drinks.... Slim Fast, Glucerna, etc. and wanted something savory. We put the unflavored powder in chicken broth and it was horrible.  There was no way I could gag it down. I thought it would be like unflavored gelatin... no... not at all. All my pre-planning and purchasing was wasted.

I got on the computer and quickly ordered some bariatric soups. They are not too bad.... (I can do this).
The main problem I am having is with my diabetes. It is changing rapidly and we cannot get the insulin adjusted properly. When blood sugar is high and I give myself a shot, I begin to feel like I have a hangover. All I want to do is be left alone and get my head down. And then, the sugar level will plummet and I lose all my senses. I drenched a flannel nightgown in less than a minute – it is a horrible feeling.  The docs continue to lower the insulin doses and feel that the diabetes will be gone completely soon.  WOW – almost a miracle. Now to just feeling better for an entire day!!

More soon,

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Art & Soul Radio... Tune in for Sue Bleiweiss: Sketchbooks, Quilts & Beyond, Nov 5th

Sue Bleiweiss has been a full time artist for over 10 years. Self-taught, her medium of choice is fiber and she is particularly fond of working with silk. 

In her own words, "A lot of my work revolves around how to create texture, both real and implied to a piece of cloth using dye, paint and stitching. The colors and textures in rusty, weathered surfaces fascinate me and I often use these as inspiration when I begin a new piece of work. My goal has never been to create a perfect or flawless surface. It is to create something that intrigues the viewer and invites them in for a closer look.” 

Sue has published an extensive array of articles for several internationally popular fiber and craft magazines, is a 2012 Niche Award Finalist and has had her work featured in numerous books and now, most recently, her own - The Sketchbook Challenge! We will be talking about the book today, and so much more! 

So please join us for this inspirational chat...

Art & Soul Radio featuring Sue Bleiweiss

with Lesley Riley
Monday, November 5th
7:00pm EST

And don't forget, Art & Soul Radio's interviews are also available on demand, to listen to at your leisure. Check out what other mixed-media artists are doing and how they're living their lives with passion any time!