I am trying, as of late, to get to sleep earlier. Sleep is critical to an autoimmune patient's well being; I'm not sure exactly what the direct connection is between sleep and the health quotient, but there's no question that it exists and that every autoimmune person I know has free access to as much sleeping medication as they need depending on their own whims.
I like to bead in bed; the tray that Eric so kindly bought me last fall with a clip-on Ott Light really does the trick and I am able to pursue my passion while reclining there. However, it turns out that it was contributing to my insomnia, and I have finally come to a point where I am putting it down (at the side of my bed) by 11 pm, taking my nighttime meds, turning off the light and turning the TV on ( a quick path to sleeping through sheer boredom), and I'm usually out before Midnight. The problem being that I have a tendency to wake up several times overnight.
The 2:30 am wake-up call usually is related to pain. I am still experiencing very serious health issues, and the pain meds I am taking seem to need a booster around that time. Sometimes as little as an extra Advil is enough to do it, sometimes it takes heavy-duty narcotics. In the hospital when things were really bad, that was one of my predictable Dilauded calls. I miss the dilauded. It worked, it worked well, and best of all, it worked quickly. But it is no drug for home dispensation, and I understand it and am just going with the flow.
I am not sure what the 4 am wake-up call is about. I generally use it to check out my computer, maybe respond to an e-mail or two (or not, depending on my state of well being), check out Richard's Clubhouse for updates, maybe look at Etsy for a little while, and then go back to sleep. Sadly, nobody is up and wants to talk (or play in the case of the dogs) at this time of the morning. Just as well, I suppose. If there was somebody here to stimulate me, I probably would not fall back asleep again.
I am very excited as I finished up Kelly's bracelet last night. The glue is drying right now on the ends, and I will, after all these months, finally be able to send her pictures for approval. I'll take them in the morning. It was a special order for a motivation bracelet quite different than anything I have made to date, and while it was interesting to put the charms together (picking up new skills is always intriguing), the best part was when I added the colored beads. I love working with clients on color selections. They often come up with ideas that I might not have thought of, and in the end, their ideas are magnificent. Kelly's color palate turned out to look like a peacock's tail, and I was so excited that when the bracelet was theoretically "done" to her order, I begged her to let me continue and bring the coloration around the charms in front, no charge. It made the piece so much better, and it allowed me to develop new skills in attaching and detaching my hand knotted chain. I am very pleased with the overall look of the bracelet, and I know that my home health nurse went wild the other night when I showed her the 1/2 completed look. Additionally, I attached the charm to the end of the extension chain last night, and when I saw what it looked like, I think I found something that would be appropriate to enter into the Bead Star Magazine contest in a necklace form, right after telling Eric just yesterday that their requirements for jewelry were too simplistic for my style of crafting. Now I think that perhaps I was wrong. But I will need to move quickly if I want to enter; the deadline is April 30.
I will probably forgo the contest in favor of working on something for Sue... I have not given her a piece of jewelry in a very long time and have two projects started for her, both of which will be very different from each other, from anything provided in the past, and are pretty. Part of the issue of my current health dilema is that I have a hard time focusing and sticking with projects that take any length of time, and Sue's work tends to be big and complicated. I'm so glad she is a friend as well as a client and is very patient. I hope that she likes what I am going to try and finish first. It features a butterfly pin that she picked up last year and asked me to work into a necklace. I found a brass choker form at one of my bead suppliers, and it became natural to cover it in several tones of designer leathers, using the butterfly as a focal centerpiece along with flower beads I have in my own inventory, and utilizing a lot of different very special beads that I have from what she gave me to work with.
I also have a gemstone necklace that I started for her, but I think I need a tutorial in wire hammering from Creative Castle before continuing. That piece is using gold fill wire of 18 and 20 mm gauge, too expensive to just experiment with and learn on my own. I know that as soon as I am up to going out to the Castle and querying them, they will put my questions to bed and show me the skills that I need to get a consistent result tht I am looking for.
I wish I had pictures to add to this post; I have a lot on my camera but don't feel like uploading them right now. It's 4:45 in the morning, and if I was go to back to bed in the next 10 to 15 minutes, I probably can get another couple of hours sleep in. If I find that I cannot, in another 45 minutes, it will probably be safe to give Claudia a call. Fortunately, she lives in Florida and the time difference sometimes works in my favor.
Just a final note. I did mail off those two pieces to the Fire Mountain Gem Beading Contest yesterday. Now it's all out of my hands and time will tell if my work is good enough to stand up to their scrutiny. I really hope so. We'll see. All I know is that it is very nerve wrecking to send some $3000 worth of jewelry off through the U.S. Post Office, and by the time I got done insuring the package, it cost over $40 to mail. And no, it did not weigh very much. Less than a pound and a half. But no way was I just going to take my chances. I had to use their mailing labels, and they said "Jewelry Inside" all over them. Talk about waving a red flag. But the most important point is that I made it. The deadline for them to receive my package is April 27; it went out April 14, so even with the increased mail because of tax day, there should be no issue in them getting it in time. My ongoing health crisis is not keeping me from participating in the biggest contest I have ever entered in my life, and my confidence in my work is such that I know if it is not received well, it's just a matter of the judges subjective opinions and not the quality of what I have turned it. A far cry from when I used to enter fiber works into Showcases, knowing that the innovation of what I did was excellent, but the technical work itself would not stand up to the competition presented by my friends and peers.
Assuming I survive this current round of illness, any mention of my work by Fire Mountain will be quite a bonanza in my resume. And if on the odd chance that I don't survive, a mention by them at the end of my life willl be a legacy that I can live with.
Now, off to bed.