Saturday, March 29, 2014

DIY Alcohol Ink Marker Storage!!!

So what have I been doing this week now that I am in less pain? I'm glad you asked! I am so excited to be sharing this project with you. For Christmas my wonderful husband bought me half of the Spectrum Noir alcohol ink markers, and my awesome in-laws bought the other half! So I now own ALL 168 of the markers!!! I have been playing with them, and making cards here and there as needed for the 3 birthdays we have had since January, and I LOVE them.
The problem is, trying to use them while they are still in their original packaging is a PAIN! I would end up with 4 or 5 packages strewn around my craft tables and it took forever to dig around to find the color I wanted. Organization was needed!

Now, I am not the kind of person who hates organizing, unlike my little sister. I find the process of going through my scrapbook items calming and wonderful. I think it's all the colors, and the fact that when I see them I get inspired. The best way to describe it is when I am looking at my items I can "see" the project I want to make with them in my head. But seriously, I have SO much stuff and I am so slow in creating, that I could craft everyday all day for a year and only put a DENT in what I own. Yet, I can go to create a project and find I am in need of one product or another...scrapbookers- we are blessed and cursed, right?!

So here is what you need for this project:
-White foam board. I buy mine at Dollar Tree 5 at a time because I am always coming up with ways to use the stuff. This project used 4 full sheets (with scraps left over of course-which I give to my son to create with as you can see in the pic below).
-Craft self-healing mat
- Yard stick 
- Box cutter
-Hot glue gun and lots of glue sticks
Optional Items:
-Washi tape
-Stickers/Rub Ons

1. So the first step was to lay them all out in their color families, I followed the printable color chart that you can find on Crafter's Companion website (click on the blank chart link to download and print, then fill in with your markers). This was time consuming and relaxing! Plus it looked SO COOL when they were all spread out. Especially with my rainbow of ribbon shining in the background!

2. The second step was to measure the space I have to put the storage unit in, for me that was 13" wide and I could go pretty much as tall as I wanted. Then I measured the markers to see how many shelves I would need for all 168 markers; I needed 12. I made the openings 1" wide to more than accommodate the thickness of the markers. 

3. Then I measured and cut my foam board on my big sewing self-healing craft mat with a yard stick and box cutter. After I had the side panels, back panel, and all the shelves cut to size I moved on to assembling and decorating. My measurements were 13" wide, 14 3/4" tall, and 5 1/2" deep (so that the marker tips hang off and are easier to grab).
4. I marked each shelf at 1/2" from the front and lined up my washi tape so the edges would be evenly decorated (yes, I'm anal-so what!) because it bugs the heck out of my when my lines are wonky when I mean for them to be straight.
5. Then it was time to assemble. With my glue gun heated up I set out to build the unit. I cut a scrap strip of 1" foam board in half and hot glued it together at a right angle so I could use it as a spacer for the shelves. (You can see it poking out in the picture above below the level, my measurements are written on it)
6. Use the level to ensure your markers will sit even, don't forget to see if your table is level first, mine is not in all places.

7. Once the shelves are glued to the side panel it's time to glue on the back panel. I cut mine so that it would fit snug between the two side panels behind all the shelves. To do that you cut it the same width as the shelves- 13" in my case, and as tall as the side panels- 14 3/4" for me. This is to keep the markers from slipping out the back if you have to move the unit, which I do.

8. The next step is decorating. Obviously this is optional, but I feel it is critical for me. I need a pleasant space to create in. Surround myself with the beauty of my craft items helps that, and plus decorating is where I get to put my personal style into the unit. As you can see from the picture I used a paper stencil, this one is by PLAID, and can be purchased at JoAnn's in a package of about 50 for $5. And yes, I used the old packaging from the markers for my paint palette- RECYCLE baby!

9. I then embellished it by adding a glitter ribbon around the edge, and dimensional stickers to the side in the gap between the stencil. On the top I used a rub-on from back in the day. Note: Rub-Ons do not like foam board! I actually had to lay down a thin layer of tacky glue to the area, and THEN rub it on- it just wouldn't stick otherwise!

And that's it! Here is the completed project in the spot I am keeping it in on top of my spray box! (Which I am thinking now needs a face lift-it never ends!) Thank you for taking the time to look at this, please leave a comment if you like it, and if you have any questions on a step or dimensions please let me know!
Have a Blessed Day,
Chief Memory Keeper of my Family

My Struggle...and Why I've been Gone

This is my personal story. I have had a migraine since January 27th, 2013. Yes, for you math wiz's out there that is 14 months and 2 days long, and nearly every day (I have had maybe 10 days in that time where my pain has been low) I live with lots of pain. This condition is called a Chronic Migraine. Now let me define what "living" is to someone with chronic migraines. I have to force my family to be constantly quiet. I live in my bedroom for the most part, I can't stand loud noises or light so the windows have been blacked out. I can stand dim light for some periods of time so that I can read a book, and with my super hearing sensitivity any TV that get's watched has to be on volume level #10 or less. But that's on a GOOD day. Since I can't stand noise or light, simple things like going out to eat become impossible, and if I try it on a good day I pay for it dearly later. Now I have given (natural) birth to my son and fractured and broken bones, so I know what pain is. I was in no way prepared for the constant feeling of a migraine for over a year. On a bad day it feels like there is a jackhammer inside my brain and it's desperately trying to split my skull and get free, this pain is so horrible and intense that even with 2 prescription ani-nausea meds I would still throw up uncontrollably at times and have to go to the emergency room for narcotics to kill the pain. On a good day it just feels like there is a knife stuck above my eyebrow that is slowly and excruciatingly twisting so that the pain radiates out from that point. What used to be an 8 for me on the pain-scale is now a 4 or a 5, after being subjected to pain for so long my tolerance has built against it-isn't the body amazing?

Now your probably wondering why doctors couldn't help me for over a year, yeah I was wondering the same thing! I went through no less that 30 different headache medicines, and my neurologist here at home sent me to every specialist conceivable, trying to rule out possible causes. I even tried a dozen different homeopathic remedies, along with seeing a chiropractor. Nothing helped.
Then in December I went to see a different specialist group in another state. We did this over Christmas break while visiting with family. They have been my first ray of hope. They have so far discovered the cause of my migraine, for me it's the Supra Orbital Nerve. Apparently there is no way to find out WHY it's out of control and causing me so much pain, but they are working on a treatment. Since December I have been traveling to this specialist every other month for diagnostic treatments. My insurance company is being a pain and making them jump through all these hoops before they will pay for the procedure call an oblation, which my doctor thinks will be effective for the nerve. The problem is, it costs thousands of dollars, and can only serve to stop the nerve from causing pain for 3 weeks-10 months. Now, a several thousand dollar procedure every 10 months is not that bad, but if it only lasts 3 weeks that would be a problem. So that's most likely why the insurance company is making my doctors jump through so many hoops. But what they don't realize is that while they are counting their pennies, I am "living" in pain.

At my last appointment my doctor decided to try ONE more medicine. He put me on a seizure medicine. I have been on it for 9 days now on the lowest dose (I'm on a titrate working up to a very high dose over 50 days) and so far it's been helping! I still feel the pain, and sometimes it still get's bad- but nowhere near as painful as I have experienced in the past. And even with the incredible sedative side effect this medicine has, I am able to be up and moving around, actually living a lot more than I used to.

I still have a long road ahead to get to pain free, but this is another step in the right direction. I have learned a lot about myself through this, and have been supported by amazing friends and family. My husband and son have been dragged along on this experience with me, every agonizing step, watching and helping me through it all. But, the one thing I can be proud of, the one thing I have held onto the whole time is my optimism. I have always said I'm an "eternal optimist" and this past year that has been tested, but I never let go of hope that the doctors will find a way to fix this. And we are finally making progress toward that!

I thank you for your support and prayers as I continue on this journey. Now that I am in a bit less pain I plan to go back to crafting and inspiring, because it brings me joy! We all need a little more joy in our life, and if crafting is your joyful hobby- I hope you will join me in creating wonderful projects!
Have a Blessed Day.