Saturday, May 29, 2010

a pause for thanks and gratitude to my surgeon

I had not mentioned this earlier, simply because it seemed a little too much after revealing that I have Parkisnon's, but out of my pure delight I have to tell you about my successful back surgery, thanks to my miracle worker, Dr. Mark Schnitzer.

I had been putting up with back pain for several years. I had cortisone injections, epidurals, and physical therapy. Nothing worked at all. Then, the pain started down my leg and got to the point where I was literally crippled. I could not even stand up to brush my teeth at night and sometimes had to crawl up the steps to go to bed. The pain radiated down my leg, with the most intense pain in my ankle. Thousands of needles felt like they attacked my leg when I stood up. Then, intense pain followed the needles and tingling.

Finally I saw a wonderful surgeon who ordered a second MRI. He figured out my problem. I had excess bone growing from arthritis in my back and it was compressing the nerve going down my left leg. He drilled holes in the bones to allow room for the nerve. I am a new woman! The minute I woke up from the 2 hour surgery, the pain was gone gone gone!!! Hallelujia! I can go to the grocery, cook again, vacuum ......all things that seem mundane, but I will never take them for granted again!

Even with Parkinson's, I feel I should wear my "Life is Good" shirt! We are having a second grandbaby due Dec. 26, and my husband is still in remission from stage 4 lympoma. Two of my sons just landed very good jobs. Life really is good!

I have a baby fairy sculpture almost finished and plan to give Ebay a try again, although it is a challenge in this economy. I'll let you know when it is listed.

Thanks for all the support from friends and family who knew about this earlier. Now,I will go back to the joy of sculpting and soldering here on my blog!

Monday, May 24, 2010

My life with Parkinson's Disesase

Since I revealed that I have Parkinson's Disease, I thought maybe it would be good to talk about how it has affected my life, so far.

About a two years ago, I noticed a tremor in my left hand. After a couple of trips to my family doctor, he referred me to a neurologist who confirmed that I have the early stage of Parkinson's. Like most patients with this disease, the tremor bothers me mostly when my hand is idle. My hand bothers me less when it is busy, either doing my sculpting or soldering. About the soldering..... ouch! Yes, I have burned my fingers several times in my journey to learn decorative soldering, but that can happen to anyone with or without a tremor. I don't let the disease stop me from doing anything that I want to do. In fact, I didn't learn how to solder until after I was diagnosed.

I don't dwell on how this disease will affect me next year, or ten years from now. Each case is different. I will admit, however, that I did what every person does when he or she has been given the diagnosis of a degenerative disease. I looked up everything I could on the Internet! But, I eventually realized that looking into the future would not change anything and that I needed to learn to live and enjoy one day at a time.

Sure, my tremor is annoying. For me, being a person who likes to lay her cards on the table, telling people about my PD is preferable to having them wonder why my hand is shaking.

I see my neurologist on a regular basis, take a medicine that helps preserve the dopamine making cells I have left, and I take the recommended supplements.
I will continue to sculpt and solder and now I want to learn how to etch brass.

The diagnosis is not a death sentence, nor is it reason to close up shop.

I want to mention, that when I first found out I had PD, I was afraid that doll collectors would immediately think that my work would be inferior to my work before PD. I have to tell you, that I think it is better and others have told me so too! Maybe that's because I have to work a little harder and I don't take my talent for granted so much.

So there you have it. I count my blessings every day. I have had 61 good years and hope to have many more.

I hope my story will help other artists with this or any other degenerative disease.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

A variety of pendants!

I listed several pendants on EBay this evening. You can preview three of them here. Two are from broken china and the brown one is made from bronzite.

I am donating a portion of each sale to a Parkinson's Disease foundation simply because I am in the early stage of Parkinson's and am hoping and praying that a cure is right around the corner. So far, I have a tremor in my left hand, so my ability to sculpt and solder has not been affected. My enthusiasm to create has not been hampered in the least. In fact, I consider each day that I can continue my work to be a blessing.

At first, I didn't want people to know that I have this disease, but I hope that by sharing my experience, I will help others and inspire them to keep going. I wear the Michael J. Fox bracelet and T-shirts to show my support for his foundation and all persons who suffer from this disease.

Please take a look at my new work and don't forget to check out my web site as well!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

This is my newest pendant, a Wedgwood with the back stamp used for the top layer. I love this piece! Whenever my sister wears hers, she gets lots of questions about it and compliments. Back stamps certainly do add interest to any piece of broken china jewelry.

If you go to my site, please check out my logo jewelry. Click on the bottom box on my home page. I am going to make a Toodlesocks logo pendant for myself. I know that these pendants will draw attention to your business, your product, or your company. I had been making these slide glass pendants for a while, and it suddenly dawned on me that I could make them for advertising! I have several reps in one company who are having great success with them. So, if you would like for me to make one for your business, please write me at My son, Grant. is a graphic designer if you need help with a logo.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

This baby, Christy, is a bit older than my last baby I showed here on my blog. I decided to put only a diaper on her so that her cute little chubby body would be visible. She is available for purchase on my website and would make a wonderful OOAK addition to any collection.

I have decided that babies and toddlers are my genre. I may venture into the adult area from time to time, but the sweet young ones are where my heart lies. Next up will be a toddler fairy. I have only her arms and hands left to sculpt.

My site reminder:

Sunday, May 16, 2010

I bought some beautiful mineral stones when I was in Kauai a couple of months ago. My intention was to solder bezels around them and turn them into pendants, but I wasn't quite sure how the stones would take to the heat. They didn't mind it at all and the pendants are simply gorgeous. Each of them has been embellished with one or more Swarovski crystals. I have them for sale on my website. They each come with an 18 inch black velvet cord, which, I think, really shows off their beauty. When you go to my site ( you will find rainforest rhyolite, pyrite, liquified coal, and mookaite pendants. The samples above show mookaite, which is the dark red, and pyrite (also known as fool's gold), which is the silver one.

To sculpt or to solder, that is the question!

Friday, May 14, 2010

New baby sculpture! Lilly Anne

I have finally listed a new baby on my website. I named her Lilly Anne. She is almost 3 inches long in her curled up position. She is detailed with baby creases and is cutely anatomically correct. She fits perfectly in the palm of your hand! I like the serene look on this baby's face. I wonder what she is dreaming about in baby land.

If you have any questions about her, please contact me here or at I am working on another baby who will be finished in a couple of days, so keep watch!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

New pendants

I have some new pendants to show you. The orange one has already been claimed, but the other two are up for grabs as soon as I add them to my website.

Speaking of my website. I use PayPal as the only form of payment for my work. It's safe, secure, and you don't have to reveal your credit card number to anyone! Just click on the button and it will take you right to PayPal.

The orange pendant was made from an antique English saucer.

The white pendant on the black velvet rope is a piece of Wedgwood. I love the simplicity of this piece.

The last piece is reversible! It was made from an English teacup that had a design on the inside and outside.

Gee, those babies are still waiting for hair and blush. I really need to pay some attention to them this weekend.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

soldering tips for jewelry

I keep thinking that I will get back to my sculpting, but I have been trying to keep up with custom orders for my pendants.

I have some safety tips for those of you who want to try your hand at soldering.

Plan to burn yourself a few times. Soldering is not for those who are unadventuresome.

Use only lead free solder.

No one can really tell you how to make solder beads,at least, in my opinon. You just have to keep practicing until you attain the skill.

Soldering on a jump ring is also something that takes a lot of practice, especially if you have an unsteady hand. Practice on a "junk piece" of china.

Always wear a mask or, at the very least, have good ventilation while you are soldering. Flux fumes are not good for you. Dust masks will not filter out fumes.

I will add more tips as I think of them. In the meantime, you can find the basic instructions for soldering on some of the solder supply sites and the stained glass sites.

To see all of my work, here is a link to my site: