Tuesday, July 10, 2018

I was having trouble seeing to cross stitch on linen.  I got some 3.25 readers but it was still too difficult.  The aida cloth is much easier to work on than the linen.  I think the issue is not just my eyes but also the gray threads against the beige fabric.  But if I get enough light on it, I can now see it.
This is the pattern I'm using for a cross stitch of my cat that just passed away of old age.  It looks just like him.

Just so you know, the darkest area is the cat's nose.  You can see how the lightest gray kind of blends in with the fabric which is actually a beige color.

I also repaired some holes in the back of a favorite shirt for my sweetheart.
The front of the shirt has a fish in these colors so I added one to the back to cover the holes.  The fins are a bit wonky but it was too small to applique it any better,

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

My Lifetime Struggle with Weight Loss & What Finally Works

Something is finally working for me for weight loss and I want to share my story in the hopes that it may help someone else.  This post will be a bit long with no pictures, but if you have struggled as I have then please stick with me.

I am 59, in menopause, 5'1" and termed morbidly obese.  I have been chubby, fat and obese all my life, even as a baby I had rolls.

I ate what every family ate growing up in the 60's & 70's in a family where both parents worked.  Whatever was quick and convenient to prepare, or eating out at little diners - or greasy spoons as we called them.  Everything pretty much came in a package or was processed and you used pasta or potatoes to fill out meals to make them go farther.  We ate fake food like processed cheese, margarine, etc. and and having southern parents we ate a lot of fried foods with gravy, and never knew it was bad for us.  Only on weekends did we eat fresh foods.  Seems like everyone we knew ate this way -- the standard American diet with that pyramid we now know was upside down.

At 11 Mom finally attempted to change things, she took me to Weight Watchers, I was the youngest person to ever join at that time.  Think about being in 5th grade and having to eat your french style green beans for lunch while everyone else is eating a sandwich & chips.  I don't know which was worse, being teased for being fat or for eating weird stuff.  I hate french style green beans to this day.  And I lost some weight ... then plateaued and nothing else would come off. 

As a very young teen the Doctor gave me diet pills, essentially low dose amphetamines to curb my appetite.  Yeah, that didn't work either and I hated taking pills.

As a 20 something Mom and I both went to a weight loss center where you replaced 2 meals with lemonade like drinks or their packaged soups.  It was expensive, the food tasted terrible and again I lost about 20ish pounds and plateaued for weeks.

As a 30 something adult I tried Atkins and it worked for the first 20ish pounds, then the plateau came I could not break through.  I also had a job change and could no longer afford the foods Atkins required.

As a 50 yr old I tried the South Beach Diet with my boss.  It was similar to Atkins but not as restrictive, but still a bit pricey.  I lost the same 20ish pounds and nothing else would happen.

So here I am at 59.  Mid January 2018, this year, I was tired of looking and feeling bad.  A YouTuber I like had been on something called Keto and had lost 50 pounds in a matter of months.  She got to eat good foods, food I liked and homemade sweets and still lost weight.  I started looking into it more and decided I needed to try it, if it didn't work then nothing would.

My highest weight had been 312, and I had stayed between 280 and 295 for quite a few years.  I was 297 when I started.  It seemed weird to me that unlike all the rest of the diets, I was not going to be snacking all day on diet foods and I was to eat (good) fats.  It was hard at first - not to give up all the carbs because the fats kept me satisfied and not hungry - but because I still was unable to eat eggs and things like iceberg lettuce without stomach cramps.  I always thought I had IBS, I drank pepto bismol like water some days.  What I discovered is that the processed wheat products were bad for me.  I am not allergic to gluten but the processed and gmo filled stuff was killing me. 

After a few weeks I made deviled eggs from eggs that are only fed organic, non gmo feed and free range.  They didn't give me stomach cramps.  I was finally able to eat eggs!  The one food that is really said to be the best on Keto.  Eggs are a perfect food source, protein and good fat and lots of nutrients.

I was amazed at how quickly the weight started coming off, though I knew the first couple weeks it was mostly water weight.  I was encouraged though when the loss continued and I started to physically feel good.  I didn't get hungry between meals, I never missed or longed for breads, pasta or potatoes, chips or candy.  The chocolate fat bombs not only helped the weight loss, they gave me a chocolate fix when needed.

With the help of 3 other YouTube channels: Dr. Eric Berg DC , Keto Christina and Dot2Trot's Low Carb Living  I have found not only recipes but encouraging help and understandable explanations of the Ketogenic plan and why and how it works. 

I did have a couple weeks where I gained a couple pounds back and had to lose it again.  That is normal and was probably due to the menopausal periods I still experience.  But I did not truly plateau.
In fact, as of this week I have lost 30 pounds, well past the 20ish when I would normally plateau.

At this point I usually only eat 2 meals a day, sometimes with a snack of pork rinds or fat bombs.  And I don't get starving hungry, my hypoglycemia has pretty much disappeared, the supposed IBS is a thing of the past.  I feel good and I've already had to take in some clothes so they fit.

I am not a morning person, I don't drink coffee, mostly water with some iced tea.  So brunch around 11am for me is 2 sausage patties or 4-6 pieces of bacon, 2-3 eggs scrambled with heavy cream and MCT oil, fried in butter and topped with salsa and an avocado cubed with a bit of salt.

Supper is around 5pm and that usually consists of half a plate of salad, possibly some cooked vegetables and a small piece of meat.  Sometimes fresh berries as a dessert.

Sometimes I get a bit hungry in the evening and I will have pork rinds or 1-2 fat bombs.

Then nothing until the next day's brunch.  That's the intermittent fasting part.  Going 12-18 hours with no food.  Dr Berg's videos do a great job of explaining why this works.

My biggest issue is that after eating the wrong foods and the wrong amounts for 59 years, I am insulin resistant.  That means I have to keep at it, it may take me longer than others to lose what I need to lose.  But I am not going back to the way I ate before.  Does it mean I will never eat a favorite food again?  No, I probably will at some point as a special treat, but then will go right back to my keto plan.  It is a lifestyle change I know I can do because I am satisfied with my meals, I don't have cravings or stay continually hungry anymore.

I hope this helps someone out there that has given up after trying so many times.  If I can do this, you can do this.  It works because it is how we are supposed to be eating.  Its how our ancient ancestors ate. Talk to your Dr if you need to first, but please watch some of Dr Berg's videos beforehand so you go to your Dr armed with some knowledge.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

A Suede & Beaded Medicine Bag

Here's the finished medicine bag.  I did change the idea of a leather strap to a beaded one and I really like how it looks.

Those wonky beads are the only thing I don't like.  But the size is not uniform so that will be something I correct if I do any more of this work.
The bag is small, about 3 1/2" x 4" not including the fringe.  My methods might have been a little unorthodox but it turned out well for not buying anything to make it.  I was happy to use a little bit of my 23 boxes of beads stash.

Hopefully the recipient likes it!

Friday, March 2, 2018

Working on New Journals, Use What You Have!

I have been working on 2 new journals, this time for myself.
This is just the cover, its empty inside though I have some pages completed.  I wasn't sure I wanted this print for this particular journal but didn't have funds to buy anything different as I would have had to order some online.  It must have been serendipity because the cardstock I am using for the pages are all these same colors and everything works well together.
Another journal for myself with peacock fabric I bought months ago.  I adore peacocks and wanted to make a visual journal of just peacocks and similar colored birds.
This is an old typing manual so it flips open at the top.
I removed almost 2/3 of the pages because as you glue in images you are adding 2 layers to every page.  Then I painted pages with craft paint, fairly thinly and the paper is so good it barely curled on the edges.  I was also in a painty paper swap with 2 other people and the paper on the left, among many others, was done by a swap partner.  The swap asked for favorite colors and I received all the peacock colors I could have wanted.  Those papers are pasted onto the ones actually in the book and bird images will go on top in random patterns.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

A Romance Journal Just in Time for Valentines Day!

I finished another journal that included some more sewing and beading.

This was fun getting all the beads to work out to the right length.  I had wanted to use for of the shell leaves, but they were too wide to fit.
I included so wonderful pages from a free old book and antique lace edging that had seen better days.
And made my own marbled paper for the signature covers and end papers.  That was fun, you use shaving cream in a tray and drizzle or drop paint on it then stir with a thin stick.  Lay a damp piece of cardstock or paper on it for a minute, peel it off and after a couple minutes you squeegee off the foam.

Available in my Etsy Shop!
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