Verse of the Day

Thursday, February 5, 2009


I had hoped to upload the layouts of our wedding yesterday, having completed a 2-pg spread using various elements from some ADSD Choco-Cherry kits. But the day got away from me (PC was tied up doing backups). . . then mid-late afternoon I was hit with another "major" allergic reaction (systemic/anaphylaxis) & am down for the count. Lord willing, it won't be an all nighter—I'm currently in the rebound stage (like aftershocks in an earthquake). . . and finally got up out of bed so wouldn't keep waking hubby.
This occurs very frequently as a result of my latex allergy going bizerko (including my chemical sensitivities & new allergies to foods, particularly the latex-cross reactives). I've been on an emotional high & increase in energy because of breaking a record of consecutive "good" days (not needing to use Epinephrine), only to get hit on the 9th day. Great thing is that there was a whole week since recovering from the last major reaction and I was able to get this blog started! PTL! Sometimes it's very easy to pinpoint the culprit (exposure/trigger) and then can take steps to eliminate that particular risk (or at least minimize it)—other times it can be accumulative (several little things adding up to overflow)—some reactions are immediate & some delayed. Keeping a daily log of everything eaten, all my activities, symptoms, meds, etc has helped to connect a lot of dots and make our home safer for me. Unfortunately, due to the nature of our current world, natural rubber latex is everywhere and no matter how "green" you go, chemicals are in everything!!
The bad news is that there is no cure. NRLA is a progressive allergy (gets worse with each exposure) & the ONLY treatment is avoidance. Avoidance is also necessary with MCS. The biggest danger comes from airborne latex contaminating everything from food to clothing—traveling from one place to another via people (latex proteins bind to the powder in latex gloves & latex balloons & becomes airborne). Things/people can also become contaminated through direct touch from latex gloves. There are so many common things in our homes & offices, it's impossible to avoid 100%. Living in a bubble wouldn't work either because the only safe alternatives to natural rubber latex are synthetics, which are man-made using chemicals!!
Unfortunately, anyone at anytime can become sensitized/allergic to NR latex—and the same thing applies to chemical sensitivities—anyone at anytime—no one is exempt. Some are at higher risk than others. I hope to include more info in future posts—education is key. I'm where I am today (life-threatening Type I NRLA) because was ignorant "about" latex. . . didn't know its relationship to rubber. . . didn't connect it to other things (ie. balloons, rubberbands, mousepads, rubberstamps, adhesives, non-skid backing, rubber grips, seals/gaskets, padding/cushions. . . just to name a few). . . didn't know anything about it. I thought it was enough to avoid wearing the gloves (or wear as briefly as possible). Boy, was that wrong! Latex even has cross-reactives! many, many foods and pollens have similar proteins & the body actually thinks it's been exposed to latex & reacts accordingly. The highest cross-reactives are bananas, avacado, kiwi, chestnut, potatoe & tomatoe—and stone fruits, many spices/herbs. . . and the list goes on & on & on. AND that's not counting all the foods that have been contaminated with latex glove use in its handling, processing, packaging and/or latex gloves/balloons used in grocery stores, delis, and restaurants. When my body finally cried "enough!", it was too late. I had to change EVERYTHING—what I could do, eat, wear. . . where I could go. . . and am now disabled, homebound 98+%.
To find out more, please visit the website If you suspect you have latex allergy, please talk to your Dr ASAP! Be persistent, ask questions, learn as much as you can about it, and avoid, avoid, avoid. Make the necessary lifestyle adjustments now, while you still have a choice. Not all Drs are knowledgeable about NRLA &/or MCS and many Drs offices & hospitals are still using latex gloves (although that is changing rapidly as more is learned about it). Find a Dr who is knowledgeable or at the very least is willing to learn. Join a support group (LAForum, a yahoo group, is excellent!). Take every precaution now!
I'll try to write more soon about MCS. Did you know there are over 200 chemicals used in "fragrance" and it's not regulated by the FDA!?? Do you know the dangerous chemicals that are in fabric softener, and that they're designed to permanently reside in the clothing & are released over time??!?? They get airborne, are absorbed into other fabrics & surfaces. . . it's one of my worst enemies! Fragrance is being considered as the "other 2nd-hand smoke". AND, you don't have to breathe them (chemicals) to be affected by them!!
Well, I'm off to "try" to get some sleep. Hopefully I'll be able to upload the layouts mentioned above sometime this week—the hardest part is already done & saved on my PC (the list of credits), so you may even see them tomorrow sometime.
Isaiah 40:31

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Oops! missed this?

How could I have missed this? Bianca at Biebel Scraps was the 1st to accept me for her one-time CT call for "Intensity". This kit prompted me to do 3 layouts of our kid's weddings. It was perfect for the job and I had a lot of fun learning how to use PSE 5 at the same time. After sending her the 3rd layout, she told me I "made the list"! So, I'm on her CT as well. I'm honored to be a part of both creative teams—AND they're comfortable with my not being able to be counted on to meet deadlines (see my very 1st introduction post). I can hardly wait to see how inspiration hits this month.

Isaiah 40:31

New CT for Mags Graphics!!


I'm SO excited!! Mags over at MagsGraphics has invited me to join her CT (creative team). She's just made an add-on to her Choco-Cherry kit that will be released on Feb 8. I love the little heart candies and patterned papers. Here's a sneak preview:

♥~♥*♥~~♥*♥~♥ Be sure to head on over to her store and check out her kits. There are kits for any occassion you can imagine—I'm hoping to work with "Zoo Spirit" for starters. So be sure to check back later this month to see what layouts have been posted.

Isaiah 40:31

Monday, February 2, 2009

Many Firsts - pt 3

Our kids' 1st Wedding
Jonathan & Dawn's wedding also took place in Holland MI. It was extra special because he was the 1st of 3 sons to get married and provided us with our 1st daughter!! Jonathan graduated from Grand Valley State University with honors, having majored in Chemistry & Health Sciences, with an emphasis in Micro-Biology. He is now working in the financial world, a positive in the midst of our country's economy crisis. He works with individuals & businesses—401K's, IRA's, Health Insurance, Life Insurance, etc.
They spent a lot of time star gazing when they were courting. We had the most awesome night views when we lived in MI—bordered by forest on two sides and in a rural setting where there were no city lights to compete with the darkness of night. I'd never seen so many stars in my life—the sky would be thick with them, making it easy to spot the constellations—it was also thrilling to see many shooting stars.

Isaiah 40:31

Award from Emcee Scraps!

Imagine my surprise yesterday morning when I turned on my PC to follow the Choco-Cherry Collab to collect more scrumpcious goodies, when there in my email was an award from Marie at Emcee Scraps! WOW! I'm honored—it's SO exciting, being new to digi-scrapping, to find a new world of cyber-buddies. Thanks Marie!
I'm passing this award on to the following scrappers, whose designs/artwork inspired & enabled me to get started. I'm not sure of the rules, but I'm going to include Digtals among my list. . . because if it wasn't for their awesome challenges and the freebie kit resources to do them, I'd still be stuck in the downloading craze and wouldn't have any layouts (to show my hubby that there's a reason for all that PC time!!). I'd also like to thank my friend Connie, from the LAForum (NRLA yahoo support group), who encouraged me & held me accountable for getting this blog off paper and into the realm of reality.
And because it was SO hard to narrow it down to just 5, please check out the blog list to the right—there are fantastic designers & scrappers out there—hope you enjoy them as much as I.

Isaiah 40:31

Sunday, February 1, 2009

ADSDesigners Chocolate-Cherry COLLAB

The ADSD Chocolate-Cherry Collab rolls out today! Here are some delicious layouts made using some of the kits you'll find in this scrumpcious blog train.
Fiona - Jan 2009

When I got the pictures of my step-grand-niece (Congratulations to Gramma Tanya!!) I knew I just "had to" scrap her. The photos were shouting for a very special showcase. I had already begun getting the preliminary kits for Chocolate Cherry and in my heart knew they were the perfect colors for Fiona. There were so many beautiful designs & papers to choose from, I couldn't use just one. This layout is comprised of goodies from 4 very creative designers. Be sure to visit them in the blog train listed below!!

MagsGraphics (papers & paper ribbons):

Stormy Scraps (love papers):

Veros at Designs by Veronique Pettingill (charms, leaves, word art):

Cindi at Van Jo Designs (feathers, love beads):

Language of Love

I was invited to participate in the Picasso Challenge over at SAS (Stone Accents Studio). The January challenge was "paint a Heart". Oooooo! I got to work with my new Bamboo Fun Pen Tablet and create the titles using my own handwriting. It gave me the opportunity to work again with the wonderfully versitile papers in MagsGraphics' Choco-Cherry portion of this HUGE collab Kit. I just love how the picture fades into the paper when I used a soft "splotchy/scruffy" eraser with varying degrees of opacity.


So. . . grab your cup of coffee and settle down for some
yummy coffee mocha with some whipped cream & cherries!


Wendy & Sarah
Angie (Elemental Pixie)
A Changed Heart Designs
Bonnie -
Aubrey's Mom
Buzybee (Penny Lewis)
Deanna at Flower Scraps
Jenn Gigowski of BMC
Bits N Bobs
Morgaine Creations©
Vintage Paris Princess Designs
Erikia {aka PinkuPixie}
Creative Digital Scraps by Chiara
Isaiah 40:31

"When you choose to use fragrances, chemicals, or pesticides,
You are not simply making a choice for yourself,
You are making a choice for everyone around you."
© MCS America

For More Information - NRLA & MCS

Support Groups

NRLA—Natural Rubber Latex Allergy

MCS—Multiple Chemical Sensitivity

Digital Photography