Thursday, July 29, 2010

End of an Era

I thought today I'd write about my favorite bead store, Byzantium. As I sit here & try to come up with something to say about Joyce and all the girls at Byzantium is that I'm sad to be losing a long close friend. Byzantium has been in business for 25 years & has been a bedrock for the art community in Columbus offering beads to excite and delight everyone. It also is a haven for those looking for inspirations and imagination with all the things Joyce has collected over the years from African drums, tibetian prayer bowls, Haiti Voodo Flags, Navajo jewelry, silver pieces from Afghanistan, Nepal jewelry, beaded Hoichu masks, carved fetish, African trade beads, gemstones from all over the world, Central American jewelry, plus just about everything else you can imagine. And all of this has got to go as Joyce has decided to retire & spend time with her husband Jeff doing the things she hasn't done since being a owner of a busy bead store has kept her from just average things some folks take for granted. She wrote in an e-mail when people asked her "well, what are you going to do now that you are retired". I can hear her small laugh when she wrote she was going to work in her garden, eat breakfast AND dinner with her husband, take a daily walk & bead! Joyce has no time to bead at all! So hopefully she'll get her wish.

But for people like me it is a sad time. Every time I go to the store, there is less and less left as every day she has more & more discounts. Oh and shall I say that more & more is coming home with me! I've been helping out some selling items and it has been a thrill. I've seen more unusual and interesting thing than in all the years that I've pressed my nose to the glass cases trying to see what was hidden away. Because of that, I've got to add to my collection some interesting pieces of silver jewelry and rings. I've also purchases a string of black coral with sterling silver inlays that I'd never seen before. I have bags & bags of vintage French sequins that are someday going to make a lovely dark lady mermaid. I've also got to see old friends who I haven't seen in years & students come up to me giving me a hug and try to talk but tears are in all our eyes. Monday I went in & there was my very first bead embroidery teacher Rena standing there larger than life. It was like a big old reunion as she lives out of town & we lost track. We hugged, kissed & exchanged e-mails. Each time I leave, I turn to say goodbye to a place that means so much to me, as here was where I first got to bead bug!

But I'm happy for Joyce & blessed that she has been there to encourage me & LOL! help me with picking out colors for my teaching kits! Joyce knows I have a real problem doing blue kits! Joyce also gave me the confidence to teach and to publish articles. Roxanne, Corby, Tammy, Larrisa, Laine and all the other girls have given me hugs & thumbs up with every item I bring in to show. So you see, it is like having a long time loving friend pass away.

I'm going in Saturday to find more treasures to add to my collection & to see if they need help with customers as Saturday is the 75% off day. Yikes! So far, I've heard the last day Byzantium will be open will be August the 7th or longer. I saw that I'm off that day & will go in hopefully to see bare walls as all the goodies will have found their way to new homes, and to say my last farewell to friends.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Fiona progress

Well, Fiona has turned the corner. She started to want to eat Wednesday night. I wasn't sure if my Fiona was even going to be around this time of the week as she was very close to leaving Chris & I. I'd come home every morning & see her just laying on the floor near the water dish. I couldn't see her breathing & was so afraid to see if she was cold or not. I'd call her name, and they she would stir slightly. I'd pick her up and give her such a hug that she made it another night. So imagine how on Wednesday evening when I gave her a tin of Cesars and she gobbled it down. Both Chris & I were in tears. He looked at me. I looked at him, and it was relief. We were so happy we opened another tin of the Cesars & merrily she gobbled it up. Naturally she had Frodo & Arwen to help her clean up the mess as she cannot see what she's dropped.

Friday morning we took her in to Dr. Miller. Her blood sugar was still elevated so we are going to increase her insulin and try to feed her more protein rich food and snacks. Oh, she loves boiled eggs & pork rinds. He laughed & said whatever she'll eat is great as we need to get her to eat & gain some weight. I know this might be hard to believe to dog owners, but she lost 7 pounds in 3 weeks! Last night she devoured 1/4 cup of Iams kibble and a whole can of Alpo. I know all those prayers that people have been sending to me have been answered. We have a ways to go to regulate her blood sugar, but she is alert and knows her name. She's even investigating the downstairs & navigating areas around the table. I just need to remember to shut the basement door or put the gate up so she doesn't fall down the stairs. But I'm so happy that Fiona is showing some improvement. Thank you everyone for thinking of me & my sweet old Scottish lass.

I almost have my BFAC completed. The beading is all done, and all I need to do is to finish one last assemble piece then it is pictures, posting, and mailing away for next years auction. I can't believe that it has taken my 3 months to complete this project & she is going away to live at someone's home forever. I just hope she finds a good home next year & we are able to get a nice hunk of cash for our charity. Oh, I'll post more next year when the auctions start.

I'm not much at sewing, but I want to finish this sample for the Lily's September class. I have it 75% done & need to sew with Hal some components to finish. Guess what? Can't find the power cord to my Janome! I had to actually clean off my work table & some of the racks of fabic, but can't find. I wonder if I #1 lost it someplace/somewhere-god-knows-where, #2 misplaced it in the piles of stuff in the back section of the studio, or #3 it was stolen my those mysterious trolls that hide in the crawl space and always get blamed for missing things. I wonder if my old 30 year old Brother will still work? I do know where it is! I have pants to mend too as I have to put a little hem in Chris' new trousers. And did I say, I'm geared up to sew on that blasted machine for a change. Oh well, hopefully Chris knows where "I" put it! Probably the same place "I" put the power cord to my cell phone!

And now for something interesting. Lark is having a give away on their blog for three fabulous books. Check it out & put a comment to have the chance to win.

hots as Hades in Ohio...but I'm chilled out in my basement trying to find that blasted power cord!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Back to work

I tell you it is always so upsetting the first night back & everyone at work ask you if you are "happy to be back?"...really? Like I really would rather be at work than on vacation doing what I love to do? Must be some sort of sour grapes like thing.

I had a great time in Seattle visiting my friend Cynthia. We went to the Puget Sound Bead Festival which was a total BLAST! I got to take a fabulous class with Janice doing a Steampunk Bracelet. I wasn't sure if I could handle doing the metal work as I have weak hands...but...Janice convinced me that I could do it with proper tools...oh..and I bought proper tools too! I'd use one of her great pliers and needed that one. Then I'd use one of her fabulous hammers and needed that too. I had a big pile of hammer and tools on my desk when Cynthia came into class & asked if I wanted a nice wire cutter...I told her I didn't think so. Then I just glanced at Janice & she gave me a look & a twist of her head...I broke down. How could I NOT with a look like that which said "really? really?". So I came home with enough tools & kits to keep me busy. I also got to take classes with Janice's partner in crime (LOL! yes, Tracy got me too) Tracy. If you want to see some fabulous wire work check out their business which is WiredArt. Wonderful stuff.

That was the good part of my vacation, and don't we always seem to have something bad/wrong happen when we are trying to relax & have a good time. This had to do with my oldest Scottie Fiona. Fiona's been under the weather since last month as she ate either a mole or a rabbit & was sick from that. She recovered, but the day...and I mean hours! before I was to get on the plane to Seattle, she felt bad again. I called Chris every evening to check up on her status & every day there was more & more bad news. Finally on Sunday evening, Chris told me he thought she was blind. BLIND! She was walking into things and had the white cloudy eyes. Monday she was laying on the A/C vent, and Wednesday the night I was to leave on a red eye, she was lethargic. I had Chris make a Vet appointment with Dr. Miller. I left Seattle at 1am PST & got to Columbus at 1pm EST. Withing a couple of hours, I had her at the Vet. She was so sick. She had a fever & actually had a seizure while the Vet Techs were trying to weigh her. She'd lost 4 pounds, had a temperature of 104 & then the worse news, she had a blood sugar of 471. Dr. Miller shook his head and told me she was diabetic & had a raging infection to complicate the matter. I was shocked & had to call Chris when Fiona was taken to the back for further treatment. We both decided that no matter what, I was going to bring her home as we didn't not want her to die someplace without us. Visions of Skye dying 7 years ago made us realize we had to do everything to save our Fifi.

Dr. Miller is a wonderful Vet & he really understands what we were going through. He agreed that I could care for her just as well as if she was hospitalized. I got some very powerful antibiotics for the infections & NPH insulin for the Diabetes. I took her home & we thought for sure she was going to die. She was so weak, and I could no get her to eat. I finally decided that I had to force fed her. Tears were streaming down my checks as I pried open her mouth & forced her to swallow food. We both curled up next to our Fiona to give her love as we didn't really think she'd be with us Friday morning. But Friday morning she was still alive. I gave her the insulin and medication, but still had to force fed her. It was touch and go all weekend. I had to pour my heart out on Facebook & I could not believe all the wonderful people there with me in my grief and my concern. Once again, I have proof that the Internet is a wonderful place to find people who understand and cyber hold my hand.

As of today, Fiona is getting better. She is actually interested in getting out of her bed & investigating the downstairs. She ate a little food and even begged for what was on my dinner plate. She is permanently blind so no longer can I look into her lovely tan colored eyes, but now I know my Fiona is going to live and be with me sharing my life and my heart. Every day will be a challenge for all of us as Frodo & Arwen don't seem to understand that Fiona gets chicken when they get kibble! Oh well, they get some too...yes, everyone here is spoiled.

Picture is of Fiona taken about 4 weeks ago.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Off to Seattle

I'm sitting here waiting to go to the airport and head out to Seattle for the Puget Sound Bead Festival in Tacoma Washington. I'm going to be staying with my long time friend Cynthia, get to see my granddogger, Fory, and go to the beach over at Ocean Shores. I'll be gone for a week & am I looking forward to it. Pretty tough week here in Columbus. My sister's dogs were attacked by a Pit Bull Saturday night. One of her Chihuahuas has a severe head trauma. Poor little thing is blind in one eye and can only walk in circles. She is getting better, but if the neighbors had their Pit Bull on a leash like they were suppose to, the two little dogs wouldn't have gotten hurt. Columbus Animal Control came out & told the owners that they either had to surrender the dog or place it in a home with containment fencing. They people found another home for their dogs, but still my sister's little old girl is the one damaged by this & oh yes, the people don't have any money to pay the Vet bill...of course! Then my Fiona is sick again. Yesterday when I got home from work, she'd thrown up & is very lethargic just like two weeks ago. She recovered from that with some boiled hamburger and rice diet, but here she is sick again, & I'm going to be gone for a whole week. Chris is going to be very vigilant in watching her progress. I hope she's just eaten something too rich for her older digestion. If not, when I get back, she'll be heading to the Vet.
My Vet is loving me these past couple of weeks. Arwen got her yearlies, Frodo had 15 teeth pulled , and now Fiona possibly sick. But we love them & want to take care of them. Once again, I just hate that I'm leaving with her sick. I promised Chris to have a good time & not worry about Fiona so much.

I thought I'd show you pictures of the classes I'm taking in Tacoma. Can you believe that not one of them is doll or bead related? I'm doing all metal classes. I'll be doing a bracelet, pendent, and a ring. My suitcase is packed with hammers & saws (yikes!) & I sent most of my tools out to Cyn's house already. Okay, I'm going to have a good time...I really really am. See you all in a week.