Sunday, 29 November 2015

Taught my first Powertex Class

Today has been a long time coming.  It has been months of training, playing and purchasing supplies.  I can finally say I have taught my first Powertex Class and it went really well.

Four lovely friends of mine came over to be my guinea pigs and they did extremely well.  So well in fact that we finished before 2:30pm.  If it was me doing the creating I wouldn't have finished until 5pm! 

What I love about these classes is those who think they can't do this.  I had two in this class.  Why do I love this about the classes?  Because at the end of the class they are super proud of what they have achieved and extremely happy with what they are taking home.  That is the best thing about teaching any craft class.  

Here are some photos of the Masai Ladies being created.

Pre the guinea pigs

Adding the torso

 Before the mess           &          After the mess

 The final touches

The finished product.  I have slightly enhanced the colours so that they show up true.  The camera phone dulled them a bit.

I will be running more classes in the new year.  If you are in the Perth area, please send me a message if you are interested.

Saturday, 14 November 2015

One month Post Op

I made it.  One month post op and no complications. Just very itchy.  I wish I could say most of that itchiness was to do with healing wounds but it is not.  My body tends to react to sudden changes in weight by giving me a very itchy rash.  I remember it from when I put weight on quickly now I am losing it quickly and it has come back.  I am not being negative about it though.  To me it is a good sign as it means something is working.

I am very excited to say that I am down one size in clothing.  In fact my wardrobe is looking a bit bleak on the options but I don't want to go out and buy clothes when I may be close to the next size down. 

My weight loss is below.  I have tried to weigh myself each Saturday but I had my post op appointment on Thursday so I will include that weigh in as well.  Yes the surgeons' scales and mine are the same.
  • Week 1 - 5kg.  Apparently my stomach was only 200g so that was all me working hard.
  • Week 2 - 1kg
  • Week 3 - 1kg. If I keep going like this I will be happy
  • Week 3.5 - 3kg.  SERIOUSLY!!!!  No wonder I have gone down a size this week.  Surgeon says I will probably start to plateau now.
  • Week 4 - gained 500gr.  I had a feeling this might happen so I am not unhappy about it.  That is still a 2.5 kg weight loss for the week.
Total weight loss so far is 10.5kg in 4 weeks.  If I include the weight I lost on my own prior to surgery it comes to 14 kg for the year.

Yes I am totally fine with that.

Food wise, I found this last week the hardest.  It was the second week of mush and I was getting sick of the same thing over and over again.  Not the mush as such but the flavour.  In order to make the mush you had to have a lot of ingredients to blend and that left you with at least 3 days worth of mush in the same flavour.  I get to start on semi solids today for the next two weeks and then I can start experimenting more.  Having minced meat and bolognaise sauce tonight.  I can't wait. 

Saturday, 31 October 2015

Two Weeks Post Op

I must confess that I felt a little deflated this week. After a 6 kg loss last week I was hoping for something similar this week.  Stupidly I weighed myself on Monday and I had gained a kilo.  SERIOUSLY!  How does one gain a kilo when one is only on fluids!  It was beyond me.  I was beginning to feel it was a big waste of money and that nothing was going to work.

By Thursday I had lost the kilo again but I was just getting more depressed.  If I could have I probably would have ordered a pizza to drown my sorrows.

Friday morning I refused to weigh myself.  I had a Dr's appointment (something entirely different).  My GP asked me how I was going and I told him that it seems I am struggling to lose yet again.  He then asked me how active I had been which really is very little thanks to the pain I have had which occurred more intense when I moved.  He made me realise that that was the most likely reason.  I have always said I need to exercise to lose weight so just because I am on fluids doesn't mean I can stop moving.

The rest of the day was spent shopping with mum and we were out for a few hours.  Basically this has helped prove my Dr's point because I finally lost another kg today.  I now weigh less than I have for over 3 years and I am 1 tenth of the way to my goal weight.

On another note, I graduated from fluids to mash today as well.  Doesn't this 1/4 cup of potatoe/avocado mash just look divine.  Trust me, it tasted divine.


Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Its Finally HIt Me

I was so pleased that I did not get the pain in my shoulder from the anaesthetic nor did I get the pinching feeling under my diaphragm.  Unfortunately whatever they injected to prevent this, wore off Sunday night.  Now I know why they sent me home with pain killers. 

These drugs certainly knock you out that is for sure.  You would think I would be getting a decent sleep but I haven't.  Due to the burning sensation in my lower abdomen I can't get out of bed easily so I have been sleeping in the recliner chair.  Not the best bed and my back and shoulders are complaining to me about it.  Thankfully the burning sensation is dissipating so I hope to sleep in my own bed tonight.

I said I would go back to work tomorrow but I don't think I will be.   I am so tired and the pain doesn't help much either.

A friend came to visit me the other day with her baby boy.  He (the baby) bought me a gift: his favourite pureed dessert.  That will be on the menu on Saturday.  LOL

Saturday, 24 October 2015

One week on

This time last week I was in surgery.  Thank God that is over.  I weighed myself this morning and have lost 4kgs so far. 

Food wise I am still on half a cup of fluids per meal.  This is anything from broth to watered down custard and yoghurt.  I am also having the Optifast soups and shakes.  

At the moment I still have the burning pain if I move around too much.  To pass the time I have been catching up on some shows I have missed.  I think the TV has it in for me.  On one show they are eating cream pastries, another, it is a beautiful roast.  The adds come on next and my favourite Chicken Fast food outlet has just released chicken, chips and gravy.  At the same time my mother has cooked lamb shanks (my all time favourite that I rarely get to eat) so that I can have the broth.  Here I am sipping away at half a cup of yummy lamb broth (yes it was yummy) and my mother sitting next to me chowing down into a scrumptious, juicy lamb shank.  

In a weeks time I can graduate to pureed food.  I think I am on that for about 3 to 4 weeks.  I never thought I would ever say, "I can't wait to eat baby food."

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Post Opp

It has now been 5 days since my operation. I must admit I was rather surprised that I did not feel worse.  I didn't feel nausea's at all and I was up and walking around that evening (albeit slowly).  It felt more like I had coughed constantly for 48 hours.  

The thing I dreaded the most was the shoulder pain that you can get from the anaesthetic.  I have had it before and it can last for days.  I mentioned it this time and I think they injected something to help ease it.  It did better than that as I didn't get it all.

On Sunday I had visits from friends and my mother.  This is the day my surgeon told me to tell people not to come because I would feel rotten.  He got the surprise of his life when he walked in and saw us all laughing.  He asked me how I was doing and I said I felt fine but I'm still fat.  That was when one of my friends said that a little nip and tuck would have helped me on my way. This was in the evening and I was still only on water and considering I was feeling so well he went out and brought me back a Frosty Fruit (icy pole).  It was the best gift I have ever had.

Of course my friends know me well.  I got some lovely flowers and a couple of minions to keep me company.

On Monday I started to get a small burning pain in my lower abdomen but all else was fine.  I went for my CT scan and was given the all clear to have clear fluids.  My first meal was dinner and it was a beef stock that tasted like watered down soy sauce.  Thankfully I had jelly as well. I had about half of each over an hour or so.  It wasn't long after this was delivered that the evacuation alarm went off.  It was a false alarm.  Apparently a fault in the PA system.  My nurse told me that it took a while to get the all clear because everyone was phoning in asking her if they needed to evacuate and the all clear phone call couldn't get through.  Little bit of excitement to add to an otherwise dull day.  

It was nice to go home on Tuesday.  I am now off clear fluids and onto anything I can easily suck up through a straw.  The small burning pain has increased to a band that goes to my side but I can keep it mostly at bay with pain killers.  The worst time for it is first thing in the morning when trying to get out of bed.

The hardest thing right now is trying to keep my fluid intake up.  My stomach has gone from 2L to 300 ml so I get full almost in one mouthful at the moment.  It is also hard to tell when to have something more nourishing because the area of my stomach that made me hungry has been cut out. I am sticking to the traditional meal times for now.

Friday, 16 October 2015

Tis The Night Before

Tomorrow morning it is. Bright and early, 6am admission, first in theatre for the day.  I am not nervous though I have given instructions to friends that if I die they are to turn up at my funeral dressed as the Grim Reaper or Ghosts.  It was suggested that only one person come as the Grim Reaper and stand there pointing at other people but I want everyone to get in the spirit.  My funeral will be a fancy dress event. 

Anyway this is not about death and funerals because I don't intend to die, suffer for a couple of days definitely, maybe wish I was dead for the first day but definitely have faith in my surgeon and anesthetist.  Both were there when I had the stomach band put in and again when it was removed.  If I knew then what I know now, I definitely would have had the stomach sleeve straight away.

Considering I will be staying in hospital for a couple of days (3 at most) I am taking a book to read.  I also seem to always end up on the children's ward, so I am taking colouring pencils and an colouring book.  Don't freak, it is an adult colouring book.  My mother thinks I am nuts for packing these items but I figure if I don't take them then I will want them.  Murphy's Law at its best.

Time to sign off.  I won't be taking my phone or laptop with me so I will be missing from social media for a few days.  Don't forget me.  :)

Friday, 9 October 2015

Drastic Measures

Those of you who know me, know how much I struggle with my weight.  I've tried programs and doing it on my own.  I only get so far and then the weight loss stops.  After a while you just give up and think what the heck!

I have been successful this year in losing close to 10kg with the help of a program that gets you moving again.  The class was once a week but I made sure I was doing lots of walking.  All was going well until things unraveled.  Slim people call them excuses, but I would like to see them carry on in such pain.

First to go was my shoulder.  I have always had issues with my left shoulder from as long as I can remember.  Apparently I have a bursa and it is bad enough to be operated on but for some reason I still have full motion, as long as I am not exercising.

Second to go was my right knee.  Again an old ongoing issue that only comes up when I am exercising.

Third to go were my orthotics.  This is no surprise considering I have had them for 10 years.  For two weeks I was unable to walk long distances until the new ones came in.  This was enough to set me back almost to where I was at the beginning of the year prior to my classes.  The new orthotics then caused blisters under my feet and so on and so forth.  It took a good 2 months to get them sorted.

Final thing to go ... even with the orthotic issue I forced myself to walk even though it was painful.  With all this walking going on my muscles were getting tighter and tighter to the point where my muscles around my hips are so tight I have to go to physio and specialised pilates classes to help me relax them.  Despite my weight I am quite flexible and find it very difficult to stretch my muscles.  These muscles now cause a lot of back, hip and leg ache.  I was told not to walk up hill or up stairs (unavoidable unfortunately).

The weight loss struggle has come full circle again.  I have to exercise to lose weight.  There is no other way around it.  I already don't each much (and no I am not in denial on that).  Therefore with all of the above and a nagging mother (who I love very much but can only handle so much nagging from), I have decided to get a stomach sleeve done.  Do I think I am insane?  Yes.  This is my last change though.  If this doesn't work I will probably say stuff the lot and eat what I want.  At least I will die young and enjoying myself.

My operation is in a weeks time.  I am currently on the pre op diet.  Thankfully it is what I was doing while I was exercising, which is the Optifast Diet (the first one).  Optifast comes in bars, soups, shakes, and desserts.  I get one product for breakfast, one for lunch, one for dinner with some vegetables.  When I did this before I didn't feel so hungry but I do now.  I think it is because I know that it may be a couple of months after the op that I can enjoy solid food again.

This is day 3. Tomorrow the weekend starts so I have two days where I could give in and have a nice cheese toastie, though I probably won't.  We were shouted pizza at lunch by our manager today and despite everyone deciding my desk was the one to sit around, chat and eat pizza, I maintained my willpower and had chicken soup.

Photos are one thing I hate the most about myself but I figured I needed a before shot.  Here is my mug shot.  Please do not copy it and use it in vain.

Monday, 24 August 2015

Mine, mine, mine, mine!

If you have ever watch the movie "Finding Nemo" you will understand the title of this blog post and automatically thing Seagulls.

Yesterday a friend Tammy and I went down to Point Perron to take some photographs of rock pools.  After a lovely day in the sun we stopped in Rockingham for some Fish and Chips and watch the sun set.  It didn't take long before we had an audience of 200 Seagulls calling out "mine, mine, mine, mine!" They came in so close and Tammy even hand fed a couple.

As usual I was sitting on the ground so the birds were on the railing fence next to me and the beach a meter below me.  To keep them from getting too close I started throwing the odd chip out onto the beach.  That gave us a couple of minutes peace.  

My good camera was packed away so these photos were taken on my phone of the birds that kept coming in close.

The photos I took at Point Perron will be a while before I show them.  I did them in RAW and now need to get a program to convert and edit them.  I know what program I am getting, I just need to find the time to get it all sorted.

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Powertex Excitement

After my last two classes of Powertex I must admit I have totally fallen in love with the product.  It is so versatile. I signed up for another 1 hour class that was held at a craft fair a couple of weeks ago.  The item we made is quite Steam Punk which I totally love.

This first photo is the full item (phone photo and a bit blurred sorry).  It is about 15x15cm.  I have used string, wood, plaster, paper, and fabric.  I love how it turned out.  The second image is closer up.  The true colour is somewhere between to two images.

There was a prize to be one at the  Powertex Booth of $250 worth of Powertex.  On the bottom of the form it asked what you would be interested in learning.  One of the options was teaching the product.  I tell you, nothing gets past Ashley.  She saw me mark it straight away and ask what I was doing the following weekend as she would be training some trainers.  It was $300 so I had to decline.  Too many bills coming in right now.

The following Tuesday I get a message from Ashely to call me.  I phoned and found out I had won the $250 which is great, and rather funny considering I nearly forgot to enter.  I was able to put the money towards the training class. 

Lets just say that this last weekend was crazy fun and I met some lovely new people.  The first day was just learning about Powertex itself and what it can do.  The class was similar to the Fairy class I did but this time it was with a Masai head.  The name of the head is Nola.  She gave me some grief but we got there and I am very happy with how she has turned out.

On the second day we worked on Stone Art.  Again this is similar to the class I had already done for the Mixed media but I was a lot more confident and got more creative this time.  The theme we were working on was rust.   The first photo is on a bit of an angle.  I really love this piece.

I had such a great time that when I got home I sat down and started doing an armature wire seated figure.  I don't have photos for it but will post them to show how the process is done.  It is a lot more fiddly than the above image and I think I will need a bit of practice before I can teach it as a one day class.

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Powertex Classes

A couple of weeks ago I went to a Powertex Class where I made a fairy.  I finally finished adding the final colour to her so I can show you what she looks like now.   I also booked a class for myself and some friends, which happened today.  We had a great time and played around with even more techniques on an item that can be hung on the wall. 

The pack we started with

We had to shape her body out of Styrofoam. That was fun.  We used a stanley knife and a special heat tool that would cut and shape the Styrofoam.

Masking tape is used a lot.  Them image below was after we attached the Styrofoam to the pole.  The head and shoulders were taped on next, and then we taped on the metal base for the wings.

We then wrapped some shoelace type fabric around the torso to help keep the wings in place.  It had to be really tight and as neat as possible as it may show later (depending on how you decorate.

 Taping up the wings was interesting.  It proved quite fiddly.

I chose the green powertex because it can give a verdigris look to her depending on the colours I used later.  We also dipped t-shirt fabric in the powertex and wrapped the pole with it, making sure we had some texture.

 We also dipped t-shirt fabric in the powertex and wrapped the pole with it, making sure we had some texture.  It also got wrapped around the base of the body up to about her waist line.

The wings were done with muslin.  I love the tatty look they give.

The final pieces to add were the three layers of skirt.  I don't have a photo of this during the process but you will see is in the final photos.  We got three pieces of t-shirt fabric that wrapped around nicely.  They were also long so we cut strips into them.  They were dipped in the powertex, stretched and fitted around the figurine starting with the under layer first. Each strand was then knotted once or twice in different areas and then we started on the next layer.  After that was completed we did her shawl and added some flowers to embellish.  Finally once she was dry enough we added colour to her.

Today we made the below out of a circle of Styrofoam.  It was lots of fun.  I have know in process shots so you only get the finished product.

The first one is mine and the second one is Karens.  Tammy was still working on hers when I left so I have no photo.  I do have a photo of Pat and Louise's but they are in the photo as well so I am not sure if they would be happy with me if I posted it here.

Friday, 17 July 2015

Art Abandonment

Some of you may have heard of Art Abandonment and some of you may not.  You can check it out here on Facebook.  It is a public page.  For years I have been wanting to do this but never really knew what to make or where to abandon them.

Last year I found a tutorial on how to make little hats out of wool and toilet roll.  I found that it sat nicely on top of a plastic coke bottle and the lid helped to keep the shape better.  Since then I have been collecting plastic bottle lids and making a lot of little hats.

At first it was just for fun and I thought I would make a mobile out of it.  Spotlight sells tiny little wool balls (mentioned in a previous post) that make 2 hats.  Still I had a heap over and suddenly remembered the Art Abandoment that I have been wanting to do.

Well I did my first one on Wednesday night where I go for my gym class.  I went up to the cafe and ordered a small coffee as pretense for being there.  There is a little shelf cut into the bench where the cold foods glass display started so I put it there.  I was so nervous that I realised the little hat covered the sign that says PICK ME.  I then had to try and rearrange it without any one noticing but of course that is when everyone who works in the cafe decided to come and stand right near the glass!

My gym class is not far from the cafe area so while I was waiting for the class to start I heard the cafe being locked up; a high pitched unintelligible exclamation, and then a lot of laughter.  I think they liked it.

I had two more to drop off that night so the second one went in an empty pocket on a leaflet stand.  Again, there was suddenly staff everywhere when normally there are none.  My final drop was after class when it was dark.  I tied it to the fence in the carpark.

This is what they look like out of the bag.  I have included an extra long strand of wool so they can be hung.

Exercise wise I am having issues.  I want to get out there and get moving but I have got new orthotics and it always takes a while to break them in.  My right one is perfect and I barely feel that it is there.  The Left one has already been back once for corrections because I got pressure blisters.  I picked it up before my gym class and all was well with it.  I wore it to work the next day.  All day it was fine (remember I sit at a desk).  Walking the 1.5km to the train station ended in shear hell though.  Looks like my foot has found a new pressure point.  Yes ouch.  Thankfully I can wear other shoes, I just can't walk long distances in them.

This morning I was up earlier than usual (probably when I should be getting up without hitting the snooze button).  We have a 30s, 40s, 50s day at work.  I don't have the clothes but I do have the shoes and the least I could do is was my hair and makeup.  I still managed to be latish for work but I think I did a pretty good job considering I have never done this style before and I don't wear makeup much.

Finally here is a shot of the central train station this morning.  I just loved the clouds and the leafless trees.  Pity about the street light.