Monthly Archives: February 2011

2 Years – Ohio JMAG

So many things have happened in my life and it is amazing to look back and see how little decisions and actions make the biggest things happen. I am constantly amazed at the amazing fortune I always seem to find myself in. Yes, there are trials, but for each of those trials, I seem to receive 10x the blessings along with them.

4 1/2 years ago my family moved to Akron, OH so my husband could complete his post-graduate training. When we moved to Ohio I knew very little about making jewelry, didn’t know a soul here and my life had just taken drastic changes in direction. I had gone from having a very lucrative career as a computer professional to being a stay-at-home-mom with a 6 year old and 10 week old baby. I had the worlds worst pliers (though I had no idea at the time) and some wire and had taken 3 intro to jewelry making classes. I quickly found out that I was absolutely NO GOOD at being a stay-at-home-mom. My husband jokes that it only took a week. And who knows, perhaps that is all it took for this social butterfly to realize she needed people!

I worked out of books, asked questions on forums online and played and played and played as I developed new skills. I fell in love with jewelry making and apparently, I had quite a talent for it that I was never aware of. I had been a professional computer trainer for 10 years and anyone that has taken my classes can attest that my true talent lies in teaching. I missed teaching. So that first fall, I had the opportunity to begin teaching. Instead of saying “type this code here” or “move the mouse and click there,” I said “hold your pliers like this” and “tilt your torch up just a little bit more.” I was back in my element and it was HEAVEN!!!!

As my classes picked up and I met more and more people here in Ohio, I found a common desire among my students and friends. They (we) all wanted a way to network, find others with a like mind in the jewelry and metal arts. I had an idea to create a group or guild for that very purpose.

On February 28, 2009, a group of about 25 people met at the Norton, Ohio Library where I pitched my idea and asked if anyone would be interested. I proposed that we hold a monthly meeting where we would have a special topic and demonstration of some sort. Well, people liked it.

This past Saturday we held our 2nd Anniversary meeting. It was so much fun. It was really neat to see the faces of people I had met for the first time 2 years ago.

As you all know by now, I am moving to Dallas, Texas in May. Just 9 short weeks from now. It doesn’t seem possible. My crazy pregnancy provided the perfect opportunity to pass the reigns of leadership to the other members of the Executive Committee of the guild. And as a way to say “thank you” and “good bye” a few of the members of the guild presented me with the most touching gift. They each made a charm and presented them to me at the meeting. The meaning and sentiment behind this still gives me chills when i look at it.


I have worn charm bracelets a few times, but never regularly. But this one I LOVE to wear. I love looking at the charms. I can tell by looking at them who made each of them. I know the members styles and it is such an honor to receive a piece from each of them. This is certainly one gift that will always be cherished. It has been an amazing 2 years getting this group up and running. They all ask if I will do this again in Dallas. For now, the answer is no. There will be too much work to do with a new baby, getting settled into a new life in a new area. I am told there are actually several guilds in the Dallas area and I am really hoping that there is a group that I can join that will fill my need to be among other artists.

In other news, as I mentioned, I am moving in 9 weeks. I am putting out the last call for requests for classes now. If there is something that you would like to take with me, please let me know now. I will do my best to get as many classes as possible in. But I would like to make certain to schedule the ones that people want. Just let me know which class you would like and which dates work best for you and let’s get these classes in here.

Our Family is Together!!!

I was really beginning to think it would never happen. But after 64 long days in the NICU our sweet little Kiari has come home! She came home on Saturday, February 5th. Kiari was 2 months and 2 days old. She weighed 7 lbs 9 oz and was 22 inches long. She came home at 39 weeks gestation, so she is right on for her size and weight.

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We were finally able to meet with the new neonatologist that came on for the month of February and got him to change the required amount she had to take by mouth. That coupled with a new nurse that noticed that Kiari was having a difficult time swallowing the milk and had developed an aversion to eating. She thickened up the milk, we treated Kiari for reflux and within 48 hours Kiari was HOME!

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The first night was “fun” as we tried to get into the swing of things. One nice thing about the NICU is that she is on a regular schedule. So I know that every 2 1/2 – 3 hours she will be eating and already has her sleep patterns set. It was really fun to watch her once we got home. She just looked and looked at everything that was around here in the house.


It still seems like she is just on loan. I have felt for the longest time that I just had visitation with this sweet little baby at the hospital. Now it seems that they have just let me take her home for a little while. But each day it gets a bit better and better. She had her first doctor’s appointment yesterday. She is doing great, but looking like she is already needing another blood transfusion. This will be her 8th transfusion. Hopefully she will only need one or two more after this.


Speaking of blood transfusions. Blood banks right now are at a 10 year low. These past two months they have really noticed a decline in donors due to the weather. If you are able, please consider donating. I will forever be grateful to the people who have donated and saved the life of my sweet Kiari. It may not seem like a huge thing to the donor, but they truly are my heroes.


Kiari also made it home just in time to celebrate Riley’s 11th birthday. Riley was so excited to learn that Kiari was due on the 12th of February because she would finally share a “season” with someone in the family. We really thought we would at least make it in to January, but she is happy with Kiari being in the “winter” as well.

Happy Birthday Riley!

With everything that has happened and been going on, I realize that I have neglected to announce where my husband has accepted a position for work once he finishes his training here in April. My sweet family will be leaving the land of cold winters with perma-gray skies and go to where “The stars at night are big and bright.” We are going to TEXAS, Dallas, to be exact. He has accepted a position with a group in the North West Dallas area. Let the search for the new studio begin!

Speaking of the studio. I am really hoping to get into the studio this weekend. I have quite a few projects to get going and next week my new toy arrives. For Christmas my hubby said he would buy me a sand blasting unit. I have had the great fortune to find a killer deal on a new one and it will be delivered next week. YAY! I feel some new Tool Time Tuesdays coming up. WOOHOO! I am so ready to get back into the swing of things.

Thank you all again for your love, support, prayers, meditations, thoughts and best wishes. Thursday night we had put out the request for family and friends to join us for a special fast and prayer to help us bring Kiari home and Saturday afternoon we did just that. Thank you to all who participated. It has been quite the journey. Now the journey to pay the bills begin. This baby is a pricey one. We actually just got one statement for the NICU stay (and it isn’t for the entire time) but it was over $160,000. YIKES. I am hoping the majority of it, if not all, is covered by my insurance. OUCH. We are still trying to figure out how to pay our portion of the transfusions before she was born. I may be closing down my online shop and trying to sell my stuff through Etsy for a little while as I don’t have the money to pay the merchant and hosting fees. So if there is something you would be interested in, please let me know. Otherwise, I will be closing up shop for a while until we can get things paid off. Thank you to those of you that have recently placed orders. Hopefully you now have those in hand and are enjoying them.

2 months

It has been two months since our sweet little Kiari entered this world. She still isn’t even due for another week and a half. And as sad as I am to say it, she still isn’t home either. She is still in the NICU. She is healthy and well. She has even gained 4 pounds and now weighs 7 1/2 pounds. She is having more awake times and is starting to show her personality. Part of that personality is stubbornness. She has a set amount that she has to eat and a time frame in which to eat it… and she isn’t doing it. When she gets to a point where she is done, she means it and will not let the bottle enter her mouth. Or if you do happen to get the bottle between her gums, she holds her mouth open and refuses to suck or swallow. If it weren’t so stinking frustrating, it would be kind of funny.

I am getting ready to get a few classes on my schedule and hopefully get some pieces posted up for sale. If I don’t get some money in here quickly then I will need to shut down my site and business as I cannot pay the bills as the money has now been drained and we have more hospital bills piling up and coming in. I hate to see the final total for Kiari’s 2 month stay in the NICU. That is going to be HUGE!
Yesterday I had surgery on my ear. Due to some of the ear infections that I have had recently and subsequent tube placement, I was left with a nice rupture in the eardrum. The surgery yesterday was to repair that rupture. Hopefully it takes.

We are in the middle of the big Snowmageddon that is going on right now. I am not quite sure how many inches of snow and ice we got, but it wasn’t as much as some people got… thank goodness. I hope you are all keeping warm and safe.

These are a couple of gifts that our baby, also known as Fruit Loops, received from friends. They were to cute to not share.