Search This Blog

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Summer Fruit -The Raspberry Variation

This time, beading first, and the health stuff after.

Important information up front!

In "Raspberry" I liked framing the collarbone with the upper folded link set.  Those are pretty bones that deserve a spotlight every so often.  I also rotated the focal piece, and framed it with three folded open warped squares, to elaborate on the Y aspect of the form.

This variation is based on "The Sky is Falling" from last fall.  Here's a quick reminder.  It was the oval focal frame that looked so floral (alliteration unintended, lol) that I most appreciated about this work, and I wanted to write a tut for it.  I got carried away by the myriad possibilities!  I loved the Y-shape of "Sky" and it seems pretty trendy too.  Plus I like the variety of tassels I can include in this series.  I've always liked some movement in my work, but suddenly, it seems even more important.

SO... still planning the release of this tutorial, and set of kits, for around the Summer Solstice, June 21st.  Provided nothing too big gets in the way.  I have adjusted my priorities in my retirement.

Now on to the health stuff. 

I write this blog as much for myself as for you, dear readers. I want to remember the decisions I made here and I find writing helps me to understand how my choices and actions work out for me.  If you find it interesting, forge on. We left off near the end of January, with the purchase of my Apple Watch, in the interest of my osteoporosis prevention and reversal.  

In all fitness heart-monitor type gear, there are rings that visually display activity.  I went with Apple because I my electronic environment is all i... iPhone, iPad, Mac Book Pro, and I like how beautifully they all talk to each other.

Here's an image I find really telling. The 23rd was the day my phone was charged in the Apple Store, ready for sale on the next day.  I bought it in the late afternoon on the 24th.  Every single important thing in my life happens on a 24th, but I did not think about it at the time.

On the 25th, I just wore it, in the interest of a baseline.  For those of you who do not know, the Blue Ring in the center tracks sitting time.  If I am moving for at least a minute during any hour, I fill 1 1/12th of the ring. The watch will prompt movement at ten minutes to the hour, so this was the easiest of the rings to fill, but as you can see, I was not perfect right away. It's pretty easy for me to sit for hours beading or illustrating.  Nothing else in my life is quite that sedentary. I started trying to get that ring filled daily.

The Green Ring tracks exercise.  Apple defines that as my heart beat moving into the target exercise range for my age and staying there for at least a minute.  I can report various kinds of exercise, but if my heart does not confirm it, it does not register.  I can also park at the back of the lot and walk to the grocery store briskly and a minute of exercise records without my reporting it to the watch.  It just knows what I did by my heart rate, and the built in GPS.

My watch wanted me to exercise at least 30 minutes a day in my target range.  Sheesh.  SO on the 27th, I put on my coat, hat, mittens, thermal underwear, and boots, and walked at a pace that got my heart rate up, until I filled the exercise ring.  At that point, I realized I needed a better place to walk, preferably with no ice.  But jeepers.  It seemed like a big time commitment, to drive somewhere, in addition to the time spent walking...

So I started hunting for indoor places to walk that were close to me.  I tried a local HUGE BOX hardware store on the 30th, walking up and down aisles as fast as I could without being annoying.  I filled the ring, but still needed a better place.

Next, I became a mall walker.  Ridgedale Mall is quite close to me, but there is nowhere to remove a coat or change shoes.  So I drove to the mall, left my coat, hat, etc. in the car, and dashed through the cold to the nearest door, and walked.  I began to develop some consistency, but still put work deadlines and personal issues ahead of exercise.  Better, but no perfection, although there was the one week...  Here's a peek at my February.

With the next Summer Fruit variation, I'll explain my March, in which the Red Ring is a factor,  I find my gym, re-discover old injuries, and meet Adonis and Weight Training.

Thursday, May 16, 2019



I am working on one, which I absolutely will release by the summer solstice.  

To answer the question.  It’s a l-o-n-g story, and mostly about my health.  I’ll tell it for those who are interested or might benefit from it. If you just don't care, skip to the bottom of the post for the first peek at one of the versions of the new project.

Late last summer, my really great doc reminded me that I have osteoporosis, and a high fracture risk.  I have had this diagnosis since my early 50’s, and the last two year progression showed a new 6% loss.  We women all lose about 1% of our bone density each year after menopause, but mine is extraordinarily speedy.   I have all the risk factors.  I have a teensy bone structure to begin with, with a wrist measurement of only 5 3/8”.  My mother fractured her hip and finally her pelvis, from which she was never able to recover. And I have had digestive issues for over 25 years, which means the nutrients I eat do not process correctly to be available for bone repair.  I was not aware of that last bit.  But I knew my bones were not in good shape. 

My doc gave me a referral to an Endocrinologist, to discuss having bone fortifying medication injected, since my Reflux Disease digestive issues prevented my taking the most common of the bisphosphonate bone repair drugs, like Fosamax.  But I had a busy fall.  You know, there were tutorials to write, and gowns to finish, and holidays to prepare for, so I put the Endocrinologist visit on hold.  Right after the first of the year, I decided I needed to educate myself to enable intelligent decision making about this drug.  I thought I'd read a book before I went to the Endo Doc.

So I bought “Dr. Lani’s No-Nonsense Bone Health Guide” and began reading.  I learned about bone biology.  I know osteoclasts from osteoblasts and what they do. And I learned how density drugs affect these processes.  I learned about the development of the density testing machines and how the drug companies who wanted to sell their density improvement drugs made them available to physicians, and how many if not most of the early machine operators were trained by the drug company reps.  If you watch The Big Bang Theory, imagine Penny doing densiometry training.  Fortunately that is generally a much improved situation now, but not flawless.

I learned that the density medications all have risks, some substantial, and about how the risks might be weighed.   I learned about myriad alternative therapies and their mostly false claims.  I learned how hormone changes with my late onset menses and early menopause provided me with yet another risk factor.  

And THEN, I learned how my wonky gut health and the drugs Nexium and Prilosec which I took non-stop for 26 years under various doctors advice (the manufacturer says not to take the drug for more than 3 consecutive weeks) contributed to my Osteoporosis. In my case, as I weaned myself off the drug, (with help from another good book, “The Acid Reflux Solution”) I also realized that it was probably also one of the primary contributing factors in my reflux disease itself. 

That is probably more about my health than you want or need to know, but I will stop for now at the end of the month of January, and the purchase of my Apple Watch.  The last sections of my Osteoporosis book were about fighting fractures with food, and exercise for better bones.  I bought the watch to help me begin an exercise program.  Boy Howdy, did it work!  

I will probably share a few more details from my journey, but for right now, I'll show and tell a bit about the upcoming tutorial.

Here's a sneak peek.  The tutorial uses a number of components, folded open warped squares, an oval bezel with some fold back edge increases, tassels, and dynamic strung gradation sections in the process of creating a variety of necklaces, (and MAYBE a bracelet) plus several pairs of earrings.  I have four necklaces and four earrings so far, and am working either on a final necklace or bracelet.  

This is the simplest configuration of the bunch.  I'm calling the set "Summer Fruit" and this one is Kiwi.

My plan is to create kits in 5 colors that would allow you to make any version of the necklace, plus a pair of earrings.  You would also have some freedom in how you orient and yoke the finished focal.  I promise a new post next week to show you version #2.  Thanks for your patience, folks!  I am busy with daily bone work, and have made it a priority, but I know I will always bead.  I don't know if I will always write tutorials, because it involves a HUGE amount of sitting.  My spine requires action.  I am off to give it a bit!