Monday, March 26, 2012

Birthday Tag-Tim Holtz Online Classes

One of the things I have learned from having Behcet's is the importance of making sure my brain continues to learn. One of  the most frustrating consequences of being ill has been the loss of cognitive function and the loss of language skills. Before I became ill there wasn't much I couldn't achieve. Writing was a true gift and I enjoyed writing. I started blogging in the hope of trying to stop the disease from progressing and hopefully maybe someone would read what I had written and benefit from my experiences.

I am now doing Remicaid infusions every four weeks. It is usually every 8 weeks. We are hoping that the chemo will kill off my over functioning immune system. In the back of my mind I am terrified of what it is doing to my heart. Yet it is because of the damage the Behcet's is doing to my heart that we are doing this. And in some ways it is helping. For the first three weeks it is glorious. My joints work with slight pain, I can think clearly, the mouth and genital ulcers disappear. Even better the fatigue disappears. I have HOPE!!! And I start to remember what it was like before I got sick.

But then the 4th week hits. And it is like a ton of bricks have been piled on me. I literally can feel it start in my feet and work itself up over a period of three hours. My body becomes filled with lead. I have angina. I can barely put one foot in front of another. I get several mouth, throat and genital ulcers all at once. The pain is unbearable. All of my joints and bones are filled with pain so bad I can not move. Sometimes I lose my language skills. I sound as if I have had a stroke. I can understand others, but what I think comes out in gibberish. Sometimes my written language is gibberish- but other times it is filled with grammatical and spelling errors. As a former educator and public speaker I am horrified.

So I have been on a mission to make my brain build new neurons. In order to do that it has to go outside of it's comfort zone and learn new things. Enter Tim Holtz's Creative Chemistry 101. This really appealed to me. I used Science to teach my elementary special education kids how to read. We did experiments and worked on saving the local river. The kids won national and international awards as a result. Tim's class was an opportunity for me to use some old skills and develop new ones.

Tim's class is taking me out of my comfort zone. Tim's style as I am sure you are aware if you have been following my blog for any amount of time, is vastly different than mine.

The class has been worth every penny. The things I have learned about the chemistry of stamping!!! I especially appreciate that we make a tag with directions on the back of the technique we learned that day. So important for someone who is struggling with a brain that can have an inflamed blood vessel at any moment with no warning and not remember anything.

 Scott's girlfriend is having a birthday this weekend. I made her a tag using blending and distressed ink. I then used a solvent ink on top. I had never mixed types of inks before!

So here is the tag (with more to come later-I am waiting on some supplies. Yes, Tim managed to enable me! LOL)

Inks:Tim Holtz Distress Inks: Mustard Yellow, Tumbled Glass, Preserves, Spun Sugar, Peeled Paint, Walnut Stain
Ranger  Black Archival Ink
Tools: Ranger Blending Tool
Stamp: Hero Arts Wish Big
Ribbon: Stash
Tag: Ranger Manilla #8
Embellishments: Creative Charms Butterfly

Have a day filled with new learning moments:)


  1. The tag looks great. Congratulations on moving out of your comfort zone. Discovering new things is great. I'm sorry for what you are dealing with and will keep you in my prayers.
    Rae Ann O.

  2. Great tag and an even greater attitude! My life with fibromyalgia is nothing compared to your struggles, but I can so identify with the mystical quality of those awesome moments when our brains are clear, muscles and bones seemingly devoid of pain and our lives providing us with a hint of normalcy! Then another day rears it's ugly head and our loved ones are once again disappointed when we can't join them for a shopping trip or other outing. But guess what? We keep on keeping on! And you are so right about crafting keeping us sane! Sometimes when the old brain is swimming in fog and the muscles won't move an inch without severe pain that paper calls to us and whisks us in to a magical place of peace and relaxation! I think that's why I enjoy making cards for soldiers and the church ministry. When I'm doing that I say a little prayer for the eventual recipient and try to imagine their delight as they read the words that will be written on the card. Peace my dear sister!

  3. What a wonderful post, Elizabeth! I'm so happy to hear you are enjoying the class as much as I am and even happier to know that it's helping you also deal with life with Behcet's too!

    Like Sharon, who posted above, I can not begin to compare my life or illness to yours, but I do share some of the same feelings and only WISH there was a way to go back to a normal life again! I definitely know that feeling of Fibro Fog and also the feeling of how important crafts have become in my daily life know. I'm very thankful for each day that I can create and feel a bit like my 'old' self again. If only we could go back in time and learn how much a GOOD normal day really means! I wish in hindsight I had known what a blessing good health is and had better learned to appreciate each and every day !!

    Keep up the great work!! I loved seeing your newest tags in today's Gallery and thank you for sharing them in today's Gallery!!



Thank you so much for taking the time to visit and leave a comment! I appreciate all of my wonderful readers! Elizabeth