Monday, May 14, 2012

Blessed to Create heARTistry…

Howdy Candies…It’s been a little over a week since I had my life-changing kiss with ‘trauma of the unknown’.  I reckon I should start by saying that I’ve missed each & everyone of you!  I’m always one to blog about all the good things that transpire in life but I don’t think I’ve ever taken the time to blog about something that I’m truly blessed to be able to have the ability to continue doing.  On Saturday May 5th, 2012 “Cinco de Mayo” was no ordinary celebration in the studio.  By the time mid-afternoon rolled around I was beside myself with this overwhelming sensation as though something was squeezing the life out of me.  Mind you I was battling with some illness over the last year that finally took it’s toll on my heart and landed me in a quaint room in ICU (Intensive Care Unit) with the on-call neurologist preliminary findings of having what’s known as “capillary leak syndrome”.  Sounds kinda scary eh?   In deed it was…by Sunday I was transferred & admitted into CCU (Coronary Care Unit) with blood enzyme levels indicating that my heart was experiencing damage.   By Monday afternoon I was taken into the cath lab with one of the top 5% cardio units in America to undergo an angiography.  Standard right?  Well not necessarily for a young lady who shouldn’t be experiencing such symptoms. 
I’m not even sure where to start or what all transpired but what I do know is that there were periods where we were not sure if I could remain stable let alone have the ability to create the heARTistry I love so much. 

What I learned through the process; I was given some advice during Creative Chemistry this year by Tim Holtz that I hold dear and it is to “embrace my imperfections”.  I have to say that I literally have began the process of applying such philosophy in everyday life.  See nobody could of foreseen what could of happened to me, all we knew is that this last year my health experienced some minor pitfalls along the way including a mild stroke in July of 2011, (which I took 3-4 days of therapy to recover from for approx. 4 months), A mild heart attack on 2 occasions & nearly a fatal diagnosis upon initial admittance last weekend that was thwarted for the care I received at St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise, ID.  After all was said & done we came to find that my initial radiology reads & cardio with another local cardiologist founded incorrect diagnosis of Renal Artery Stenosis. 

It is okay!!! I’m sure while your reading this you wonder, “What?” How is this possible…  Perhaps it was a fluke…who knows.  What I do know is that I’m safe, alive, & happily at home being able to create some heARTistry (at least a couple of new mediums I was dabbling in during my recovery).  People are people & they do make mistakes it is all apart of that “embracing their imperfections” that I think is getting me through this on an emotional level.  Plus having my Darling Husband by my side through this entire experience of the ‘unkown’.  He kept my Friends & Family on FB updated & truly was a champ throughout the whole process.  I debated to share a couple of photos from the hospital as we all know once it is goes into the info highway it is here forever.  However, I want to send a message of sorts to all of you….so please keep reading: (To leave a comment, thoughts, suggestions, or feedback - just click the title to this post & scroll to the bottom)

My Friend Took a Photo of Us The Night Before the Procedure:

Before Procedure Photo

Here I am doing my best to keep up my spirits & admittedly my DH kept me smiling:

Hungry Honey?

So I’m not looking as Fantabulous as I wanted to…& yes I can’t live without my Creative University apparel it is a must have in my everyday life.  I actually call it my comfort clothes because it reminds me so much of the extraordinary time I spend each year at the retreat.  Make no mistake, this was no walk in the park. (That’s something I get to do this week!) These were taken the night before my procedure and I truly won’t share what I looked like afterwards…just so not blog material to say the least.  Of course this is all about my journey through my love & passions in Life & though none of this is my love or passion it is an experience I want to openly share with you so you can understand at least one thing. 

We all have a story to tell with battling an illness or fighting through a diagnosis & those who love us attempting to cope with it in their own way.  It’s what you make of the journey in the process that will keep you grounded.  I firmly believe in the power of “mindful healing”, it’s the way you think or the thoughts you have that will inevitably contribute to how fast one recovers or the faith in which they can.  I was beyond flustered that my discharge instructions wouldn’t allow for me to sit long enough to create much & I was dealing with so many mixed emotions about the findings, experience, and most of all where do we go from here?  When I allowed myself that time to just sit back and rest, follow the Dr.’s orders & find apart of me that I needed to reach again in order to do something anything that would allow an avenue of solace.  In this discovery period I realized more than anything that well…Art is apart of my soul! 
Fabulous News!!! I was able to come home to opening my package of goodies from Dyan Reaveley’s line via Ranger that I got to dabble in.  I’m excited to share the small pieces I got to create over a 4 day period.  Though as minute as it may seem, to me it was the ability to realize that I’m blessed beyond words to continue to create heARTistry.  Here they are:

My First Tag Creation using “Pondering Petunia” & some of Dy’s other stamps & stencils: (Click on the Photo to purchase Dy’s “Pondering Petunia”)

The next morning my lil gurl love this one so much that she asked me to create one for her while she was in school with “Curious Corrin”, of course she had a special request to use different legs & shoes: (Click on the Photo to purchase Dy’s “Curious Corrin”):

I enjoyed playing with the different mediums using Tim Holtz Distress Markers & Fine Detail Water Brush with Dy’s Dylusional’s line of vibrant sprays along with Claudine’s gesso that I decided to make a background tag for a later project: (Click the Photo to purchase Dyan’s Dylusions Spray Inks)

Dylusions Sprays, Stencils & Ranger Products

After some advice offering via my CC101 FB Group members I’ve decided that a saying along with some color-ready ribbon will work fabulous with this ensemble.  It was FUN, Invigorating, New, Exciting, & totally captured my inner-child.  Funny how only a few days prior to going in I was skyping with my Mother who is terminal about Dylusions & one of Dyan Reaveley’s videos via Ranger’s new web-site about the Dylusionals line that was just released here in the United States.  It brought us closer then ever & admittedly we also share the same love for art no matter the medium in which it’s in.  As my Mother put it so eloquently “Artists live in a different world that is not always understood by others”.  She is absolutely right! 

Though I’ve found an incredible new way of expressing my heARTistry with these products one thing I can say for certain is that every single medium I use and the designers behind them whether it is CTMH, Ranger’s Tim Holtz, Claudine Hellmuth, or Dyan Reaveley…I do know that each of them are apart of me when I start a piece from beginning to end.  I want to thank these Artists for their contributions, words of wisdom, and the products they share with me so much!!!  You have all touched my heart & made this journey to a full recovery more than just about creating a story but finding myself in the process & having the ability to share my inspirations and perhaps touch someone else heART!  Thanks for patiently (no pun intended) Stamping By…


  1. I am happy to see you recovery and getting to play. I also went though a misdiagnosis, and was lucky to survive.

    I am still friend to today with the Dr. who finally got it right. It is scary and at the time I was working in a lab. So I was auguring with the other two doctor, telling them they were wrong.

    Continue to get better, we miss you. Donna

  2. So happy you are home and on the road to recovery! Take care, hugs.

  3. I hope you continue to get stronger day by day Nichole. Glad you're back creating. I love your new artwork. I can't help but smile when I see it :):) Jenny xo

  4. Glad to hear you starting to bubble again! I like it when you are bubbling! LOL glad you are feeling better

  5. Glad to hear you starting to bubble again! I like it when you are bubbling! LOL glad you are feeling better

  6. You have the right attitude to carry you on. I can't begin to tell you how many times I have been misdiagnosed. I can only hope they finally get it right for you and you can regain your strength and passion. I have been reading about everyone's trials and it only brings me closer to embrace the imperfections we all share. Be strong and well my friend.

  7. Hey gorgeous, glad to hear you are recovering. So happy that my products are playing a part in that recovery. From my heart to yours, enjoy xx

  8. So glad to hear they finally found out what was wrong!
    You are perfect inspite of imperfections…an oxy-moron I know, but it's what makes you sparkle!


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