I managed to complete my conversation heart necklace that was largely unfinished after the event that Sassy and I hosted last weekend... you know how it is... you get to visiting with your friends, you get to swapping, and next thing you know, it's time to go home and your project isn't finished. That said, I'm happy with the way it turned out and I plan on getting some good use out of it next year. I embellished it with a few extra strings of chain I had on hand leftover from some other projects and it feels... well, downright juicy. I'm surprised I even took the time to finish it but I'm glad I did.
I have to be straight with you. I'm not feeling very juicy myself these days. I don't often mention it on the blog, but I struggle with a few health issues, not the least of which is pretty severe arthritis. The pain gets me down in the winter. Last week my doctor suggested that I try Cymbalta, a mild antidepressant to combat my general pain - it seems to help diabetics experiencing neuralgia. I thought it would be a good idea and after my specialist agreed I am giving it a genuine whirl... but I feel a bit like I've been hit by a really big truck. With a forklift on it. At a high speed. While wearing a miniskirt. So... vulnerable.
So rather than wallow on the couch and shuffle around here in my housecoat (as I've been doing) I thought it might be an idea to put it out to you, in blogland. I've never taken an antidepressant before (and I really do like my pills - better living through medication, you know) so I wasn't expecting to feel so low... so mentally low. Especially when I'm taking it for pain, not for my state of mind. It seems as something that is supposed to make you feel happier should not do the opposite; and it's particularly frustrating when I wasn't feeling low in the first place.
In fact, I came home from Las Vegas all charged up and full of ideas. My camera is stuffed with images of all sorts of inspiring things to try in the kitchen and the craft room - but I just can't muster up the enthusiasm. Aside from the fatigue, the tummy problems and other unwanted side effects like losing my appetite (but remember, you're always just one stomach flu away from your goal weight!) I just feel a general malaise that is hovering over me like a cloud and I'm wondering... do you know when it might go away?
It might be two to four weeks before I see a difference in my pain reception, so I promised my doctors I'd give it a good go. I know it's a personal question to ask, but if you have any experience with this, please give me a word of advice. I simply cannot lay on the sofa and watch Toddlers in Tiaras for the rest of the winter. That would be a new low, even for me.
I did promise to share some of the Valentines from the swap so here are a few that particularly tickled my fancy - I thought you might like to see them and file them in your idea file.
Karen of the KAGS fashioned delightful three dimensional tea cups and saucers in a Valentine theme, complete with tea bag and a message, "you're my cup of tea." A signed and numbered edition.
Let's all ask Erin, how did you do this? I should have snapped this unopened - it was a sealed can with a pull lid! How fun... and stuffed with conversation hearts. So Erin, how did you do this?
jkiddz came up with something very personal for everyone - a photo tile featuring every swapper with their Valentine. You can find her tutorial here.
Our resident Team Edward enthusiast, Jenn, came up with these adorably embellished cans of Crush - turn the wheel to reveal:
Her beloved vampire. She loves boys who sparkle. You can see even more of the loot from the swap here.
Well peeps, I want to tell you to tune in tomorrow and I'll be here with something to show you but it seems that I can't promise that. I'll promise to try. Even if I could get into the kitchen and make some cookies - the kind of cookies that The Fan used to call desperation cookies, cookies that you make when the world seems a little bleak and you need a pick me up. I guess I could start there.