Friday, May 27, 2011

giant update

hello, all!

i know, i'm a terrible, terrible blogger... i haven't blogged since last year (!).  it's been a very strange and stressful 2011 so far (with the worst behind me, thankfully), so i think you will understand when i explain myself a bit.  just a warning: this post will be quite long and detailed.

as you might know, as long as i've had my business, i've had problems with endometriosis.  it's not a pretty tale, but suffice to say i was at stage iv when i was finally diagnosed 4 years ago, but due to complications (it had adhered my lady organs to my colon, for one thing - not fun!), i was never really rid of it completely, even after 2 surgeries and a 6-month round of an awful medication called lupron.  i started having a lot of problems last april and may, and after a few months and lots (and LOTS) of tests and procedures, it was discovered that an endometrial lesion was pushing through my colon wall, blocking the inside and killing about 5 inches of my colon.  i began another 6-month round of lupron in october, and for those who aren't familiar, it makes life pretty miserable.  i continued to work (after all, launching my business was what kept me distracted from the bad stuff going on through the first round), but when my surgery date finally approached, i had to close up my shop for a few weeks.  thankfully, the surgery was a huge success:  yes, i had to have a hysterectomy and colon resection, but it looks like the lupron did its job, as my surgeons found no active or living endometrial tissue in my abdomen, meaning i should be rid of endometriosis once and for all at this point.  recovery has been difficult at times, easy at others, but i am glad to have this chapter of my life come to a close so i can finally LIVE.  having endometriosis really screwed up my metabolism over the past decade, but soon after surgery, i began to lose weight, and happily i have lost 17 pounds so far (i was a beanpole before all this, so i am thrilled i'm finally getting thin and healthy again!)

as soon as i was cleared for work by my doctor (6 weeks post-op), i began making up for lost time.  i participated in 2 art fairs recently and also offered a deal on heartsy (like groupon for etsy sellers, if you're not familiar), which kept me plenty busy for a while ;).

i also created new chiyogami bangles, released some sets of stud earrings and wine glass charms, started selling to a few new brick-and-mortar shops, and began an email newsletter (you can sign up in the box in the top right corner of this page ^).

it feels great to be productive again :).

here are some photos from the art fairs, starting with 'japan-aid' which took place on april 29th:

the middle of my display table

my pencil sets on display

and the 'may day' art fair at caffe medici in austin, tx on may 1st:

my set-up.  ignore the computer and sign in the background - those aren't mine :p

the middle of my table again, only this time i upgraded my price tags

my pencils on display again.  these were so popular!

and i have to say - i've got a really great husband and wonderful friends!  brandon helped me out for 'japan-aid', and my best girl friend brandie assisted me at the 'may day' fair.  she was so awesome that i'm going to have her help at future shows, too.  here we are at a restaurant afterward, celebrating a job well done:

i will be doing more art fairs this year (i have 5 planned), so i will keep you updated on the details for those.

life outside work has been good, too.  my husband and i took a short trip to galveston island on the texas coast right after the 'may day' fair, which was lovely, though i wish we could have stayed longer (we were only there 2 nights and 1 full day).  also, my friend carena won a cruise for her and a guest through her work, and she invited me to tag along.  i've never been out of the country nor been on a cruise, though i have always longed to travel, so i am very excited.  the cruise is in august, and sails to the bahamas, st. maarten, and st. thomas.  then, in september, brandon and i will be going to new mexico (a first for me) to witness his cousin hudson marrying my fellow 'shana logic' artist lauren king (small world, right?), who is now, after discovering this happy coincidence, my friend.  it's going to be a fun rest of the year :).

so now you're pretty well updated, at least on the major things.  whew!

oh, one more thing:  my mother bought me a tassimo coffee machine as a 'get well' gift, and i have now become a coffee-lover.  if you'll excuse me, i'm going to go make an aromatic cup of maxwell house french vanilla coffee right now ;).


ps - thank you SO much to all of you who have sent kind messages my way throughout the last few months - your support means so much to me!


San said...

So glad you're doing better and happy I found your shop through Heartsy. Love your products and your displays are lovely! Keep up the great work!

maoiliosa said...

awww, thanks so much for your sweet words! i appreciate your support <3 .

LeaKarts said...

Omg, you have come so far!! I remember when you were so nervous to do shows and now you're a rock star! I'm glad you're feeling better & back to blogging (me's been a busy year! And not blogging means not seeing other people's blogs...). <3 You!

maoiliosa said...

thank you for being such an amazing friend, lea! <3