Hello, and welcome to Moving, Shaking, and Making, where we discuss making handmade cards while dealing with the effects of Parkinson’s Disease, among other things.
I’m Shari, a 44 year old card maker, wife, sister, auntie, pet parent, office manager, and Parkie, as those of us with Parkinson’s Disease sometimes call ourselves. I was diagnosed in December 2018 after ignoring symptoms for 3 – 4 years.
I decided to start this blog to inspire others with chronic conditions to keep doing what they love in spite of pain or difficulty. When I am having an “off” day, and my meds are not working, I do not want to do anything, but that lets the PD steal part of me. So, I do something, even if it is just watching crafting videos on YouTube.
I look forward to documenting my journey as a maker, and a shaker, and hope you gain some inspiration moving along this path with me.
In my last post I mentioned that I was working on a project and would post a how-to shortly. Well, here it is, the portable desktop.
DISCLAIMER: I have seen several versions of this on YouTube; this is not my original idea, it is just my version of a project I have seen from multiple makers/crafters. I am not saying where I saw it because it is a mash-up of various projects from multiple YouTubers.
Now that the pleasantries are out of the way, how about a materials list.
Chipboard or a cereal box cut at
2 – 9″x6″
2 – 9″x1″
1 – 9″x4″
Strong double-sided adhesive, I use the 2″, 4″ and 6″ wide adhesive from Scrapbook.com.
5 sheets of 12×12 paper, preferably cardstock. You will need 2 for the outer cover and 2 for the inner cover and it is best if they match. The other is for making bands to hold your notebook and making pockets.
Velcro or magnets for the closure.
Scissors or an exacto knife, embellishments of your choice, and items to put into your portable desktop.
After you have cut your chipboard, you will need to join 2 sheets of 12×12 paper to make the outer cover. To do this use glue or double sided tape to adhere about a quarter inch of one sheet to the matching sheet, making sure that if there is a pattern it is all in the same direction.
Cover one side of each piece of chipboard in double sided adhesive and adhere to the wrong side of your joined paper as follows:
From the left side, leaving 3/4″ – 1″ of paper exposed on the side and bottom, place down one 9″x 6″ piece of chipboard.
Leave a small gap, around 1/8″ and place down one 9″x 1″ piece.
Leaving a 1/8″ gap between each place another 9″x 6″ piece, then a 9″x 1″ piece, and finally the 9″ x 4 inch piece.
There will be excess paper along the top and right side; trim these leaving 3/4″ to 1″ of exposed paper. Miter the corners (cut them off at an angle) leaving around 1/8″ of paper at each corner. Fold the paper around the edges of the chipboard. Fold along each gap between the chipboard pieces to create the shape of the portfolio, then open it back up.
Flip the project over onto the wrong side and cover the exposed chipboard with adhesive, then fold the edges over and adhere. Trim each piece of your liner paper to a 8 3/4″ height. Run a line of liquid glue along the paper you previously folded over and adhered. Place your liner paper down, leaving about a 1/4″ margin. This will take both sheets, it is your choice if you trim both pieces to half the needed length or if you just trim off the excess on the second piece.
From here on this is a custom project, you do not have to do it the way I do. Whatever you decide to do, I recommend making it refillable by using bands made of scrap paper, or using Velcro. Here are pictures of a few options for filling your portable desktop.
Add a Jr. legal pad, sticky notes, and a pen and you are all business. Use 2 notepads and a pen to keep a journal and to-do list. Velcro in a pencil bag, fill it with watercolor pencils and a water brush and put a 5 x 8 watercolor pad on the other side, or a sketch book and pencils. Or Velcro the case to your reading glasses inside and never lose them again. Put in a band that will hold your Kindle case on one side and a notepad on the other.
The options are endless. Let me know if you try the project, and what configuration you use.
Until next time, keep moving, shaking, and making.
I logged into my Facebook account the other day to find an invitation to attend a preliminary meeting regarding setting up a local crafters club. Normally I would have ignored something like this; I’m not one for after work activities. But I’ve read that it is important for people with PD to socialize, and I really love crafting, so I clicked “Going” and held myself to the commitment.
The meeting was at a local community arts center. I didn’t even know we had a community arts center, what a great thing to discover. We introduced ourselves and talked about the type of crafting we each enjoyed. We discussed plans and schedules, and in the end we decided to meet once per month and to take turns leading a project.
That is how it came to be that in May I will be hosting a class (using this term loosely) on how to make a project that I call my portable desktop. I will be posting more about this project soon, but basically it is a portfolio that holds a Jr. legal pad, a 3 x 5 note pad, 3 x 3 and 2 x 2 sticky notes, and a pen, as well as having a small pocket. It is made on chipboard, or packaging, I use cereal boxes, so that it is sturdy enough to use as a portable desktop.
Others in our new club will be teaching card making, junk journaling, resin craft, and an as yet undetermined Christmas in July craft. I am looking forward to learning new techniques and new crafts, and to making new friends.
Are you involved in a crafters club or something similar? I’d love to hear your suggestions if you are. In the meantime, keep Moving, Shaking, and Making my friends.
It’s been a while since I’ve written anything, and I thought it was time to say hello again and give an update on my projects and health progress.
I made the decision to start selling my projects, and I am still working out the logistics. I tried Etsy, but decided that was not the platform for me. I’ve gone to two craft fairs, and am currently seeking space for a spring event, but having little luck finding anything priced reasonably that is not already booked.
The craft fairs were a fun experience; I met some people and learned a lot. I didn’t make many sales, but I learned what people are interested in. Most importantly, I was able to create and enjoy myself, and have something to do with my projects.
I did end up selling a good deal of what I made around Christmas. Friends and co-workers looking for last minute gifts loved the covered legal pads, and gift boxes that I made. And I did custom card orders. That was a lot of fun, but it was kind of strange to get a Christmas card in the mail and have it be one I made.
Overall, my health has been good all things considered. Over the Thanksgiving holiday we all caught a stomach virus that was truly awful. I’ve never lost weight over the holidays before, but I came out of this holiday season down three pounds.
In December I had my 9 month follow up with my movement disorder specialist and he was impressed with my improvement. We did end up increasing the dose on my medication by half a mg, but he explained that this medication isn’t like others in that I cannot build up a tolerance to it, so if it is not working as well as it was it means I’m creating less dopamine and it is time to increase the dose.
I was just happy that I’m improving, that was not something I thought could happen with a chronic, degenerative neurological disease. I’ve been trying so hard not to lose anything that I didn’t even notice that I was getting better. Although I will say I need to work harder on my speech exercises because I’m getting quieter.
My biggest struggle right now is typing. My left hand is where my tremor lives, and it makes typing two handed challenging. Some days are better than others, for instance right now I’m two-handed typing okay, but the tremor is getting worse as I go. I’m considering a one-handed keyboard for work because I type a lot there, and I’ve gone from 60+ words per minute to around 23 words per minute. But then, that feels like giving up, and I’m a tad stubborn.
I’m going to try to be more diligent with my updates; hopefully I’ll post once a week, but at the least I’m trying for monthly. I’m working on a project now, that I hope to share in the near future. Until then, keep moving and shaking!
My mom invited me to go camping with her, my step-dad, and my nieces and nephews for a few days last week. Now, this is camping in the comfort of a travel trailer, which I used to scoff at; camping in a trailer isn’t roughing it, so it couldn’t be camping. Then I got older and my back couldn’t handle sleeping on the ground, and my body couldn’t handle the cool damp mornings. So two years ago I bought a small travel trailer called an R-Pod.
My R-Pod is 18 feet long and sleeps 2. My mom’s trailer is 40 feet long and we managed three adults, two tweens, two toddlers and a baby. There’s something to be said for all the room in a large trailer, but I prefer my R-Pod, it is easier to tow and keep clean, and it’s cozy like a tent.
Last year we did not get a chance to camp, so this was my first camping trip since my PD diagnosis. It was a very active trip with all of the kids, but it was wonderfully relaxing and recharging as well. I certainly got my exercise in chasing after little ones, taking walks, and playing on the slides and monkey bars. I felt great, my symptoms were under control. The only thing I had an issue doing was running, which prompted a series of “why’s” from my 3-year-old nephew. I probably did not explain well, but in the end, he knows that I have an “ouchie” that makes it hard for me to move my arm and leg and that sometimes I am slow or shaking.
Mom asked me to be in charge of arts and crafts with the kids, so I had the opportunity to make a card while camping. As I said in another post, we have a lot of birthdays coming up in my family, so I made another birthday card using Simon Says Stamps Party Like a Panda stamp set.
I brought along watercolors and Canson XL watercolor paper, so I started by painting a rainbow background. I then stamped my panda on a piece of Georgia Pacific cardstock and fussy cut it. That’s right, my hands were steady enough that I was able to fussy cut. I stamped a present and the Happy Birthday sentiment onto my cut background, then colored the present, party hat, and cake with Crayola washable markers. I glued the panda onto the card front using an Elmer’s glue stick.
When I got home I put my card front onto a Neenah solar white 110 lb card base and added some sequins. Even though I finished the card at home it was fun making a card with minimal supplies in a screen tent. The younger kids enjoyed drawing fireworks with the Crayola markers, and some painting with the acrylic paints.
The older kids both worked on projects as well; my nephew painted two sunflowers, learned how to stamp, and drew and cut out a boat. My niece drew a llama, created a background for it, and used a combination of paints, cutting, and stamps to embellish it.
In the end, I found that camping seems to be just as good for treating my PD as it is for relieving stress and that it is a lot of fun creating with limited supplies. I might have to challenge myself to do more limited supply crafting in the future.
I hope you found a way to unwind and reduce stress over the weekend.
Until next time, keep moving, shaking, and making.
I like to think I’m a pretty intelligent person. I managed to get a Masters in Education, so I have to have some smarts, right? The thing is, smart and savvy do not always go hand in hand, and we all do dumb things from time to time.
Dumb things like decide to sell our handmade crafts online, then open a shop without doing enough research. Amazon and Etsy charge fees to use their platforms, with good reason, but they are a bit high when you are selling $5 items.
This is a hobby for me, not something I expect to replace my day job. With that in mind I did a quick search for other platforms for makers to sell from, and without research set up an account on a free site. I made a Facebook page, invited some friends, who invited some friends, and found out that my new shop was with a site that had been abandoned by its developers and had nothing but problems.
It took me 15 minutes of research to know I made a mistake, and luckily it was within a day or two. Now I’m on Etsy, and I have a lot of research to do to learn how to get traffic to my page, and turn that traffic into sales.
I hope you have done your research on any major decisions. Until next time, keep moving, shaking, and making!
In March when I went to the movement disorder specialist he prescribed a mid-range medication for my Parkinson’s symptoms. His stated goal was for me to feel 35 again, and for a while I felt 25 again. He also warned me of the potential side effect of the medication; COMPULSIVE BEHAVIOR.
The term compulsive behavior brings to mind repetitive actions and loss of inhibition. My doctor warned about excessive spending, gambling, even compulsive sexual behavior. So, my husband and I made a plan to check in regularly. I take care of our day to day finances and budgeting, but now he checks in weekly to see how we’re spending. I have never had patience for gambling and still do not. And my libido has not changed.
It seemed like I got away with feeling great and no side effects, but did I? As I type this I am sitting in my craft room, having set aside a project to work on another evening. Each night after dinner, and for hours every weekend I am in my craft room, or watching card making video’s on YouTube, or reading crafting blogs. At work I think about my current project. I even made a “to go” kit so I can work on cards on my lunch break.
Is it a Problem
Today it occurred to me that I am exhibiting a compulsive behavior. It is not doing me any harm that I can tell. I’ve even started selling cards to family and friends. I’m considering selling online.
The question remains, is this behavior a problem? I need to discuss it with my husband and see if it is having a negative impact on our home life. I might need to try spending a few days away from crafting to see how that makes me feel. I can tell you right now that I don’t like the idea.
Ultimately, crafting makes me happy. It keeps me busy, and I feel like it helps with the Parkinson’s by keeping apathy at bay, and by forcing me to use my motor skills. Stamping, coloring, and paper piecing take a bit of dexterity after all.
I guess the key is to find the happy medium, craft and enjoy it, without allowing it to become the center of my life.
Until next time, keep Moving, Shaking, and Making!
For the past few weeks I’ve participated in the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge. Last week with the craft room move I did not participate. This week I almost missed it again, but here is my last minute entry.
I decided to try my hand at a shaker card, so I created a top folding card with the peacock teal paper, and a panel with a window out of the white paper. I glued a square of Judikins embossable window plastic to the back of the window then stamped my sentiment on the card front.
While the glue dried I stamped a panda with Memento tuxedo black ink and colored him with my Ohuhu alcohol markers, then cut him out using my Scan N Cut.
Next I used a double layer of 3M foam tape around my window, and to pop up my card front so everything was level. I filled my window with various sequins and attached my card base, then pop up the panda in front of the window.
It was a fun card to make, but next time I will remember to put a frame around the window for a more finished look.
I hope you were inspired to create something this week. Until next time, keep moving, shaking, and making!
Hello movers and shakers! I’m sorry to say that I don’t have a card or craft for you today. This is due to a few changes that have occurred in recent weeks. Some are changes in my crafting, and then there’s a change in my PD.
Over the past few weeks it has been hot and humid here, and my symptoms have been pretty bad as a result. Now when I say “pretty bad” I am using the term as relates to me. I am still doing great, and on bad days my symptoms do not stop me from working, I can still drive, and most of the time I can spend a bit of time in my craft room.
The things I cannot do are fully lift my left foot when walking, move my left arm naturally, and type with my left hand. My neck and shoulder are rigid and my feet cramp and I have tremors in both arms and my tongue. Since I’ve been on meds these problems have all but disappeared. Until the heat.
I read that heat and humidity made Parkinson’s symptoms flare, and I didn’t truly believe it, so when it was over a week of being symptomatic I contacted my doctor about it, hoping that we did not need to increase my dose. He confirmed that the weather could be the cause, along with dehydration. I admit, I am terrible at staying hydrated; if I’m not eating I don’t think about drinking. So, I’m trying to remember to hydrate, but I’m not seeing a great difference.
In more upbeat news, I have been saving for a Scan N Cut to help me cut stamps that I do not have dies for, among other things. I was able to get it earlier this week, and am learning how to use it. It looks as though it is going to be a useful tool in my craft room.
Speaking of craft rooms; I am in the process of moving mine. One of my husbands hobbies is fish/aquatic plant keeping. He has been set up in the smallest “bedroom” in our home as his hobby room for a long time, but it did not give him room for his tanks. I’ve been set up in a corner of our guest room, which is spacious, but not laid out in a good way for a craft room.
Last weekend I asked my husband if he wanted to trade rooms. Yesterday (Saturday), we started the move, and as of this writing I am taking a break from organizing my new craft room to write this. The space is just what I need, and allowed me to use two mini cube organizers and and an old door to create a new crafting table. This frees up my painting table for actual painting.
I haven’t had time for a craft this week, but I’ve been busy in my craft room, and I’ve been enjoying myself. Now, I’m off to grab a drink and set up more of my new space. I hope you have had a good week and accomplished the things you planned on.
Until next time, keep Moving, Shaking, and Making!
If you are anything like me you could liken your life to the movie Groundhog Day. No, I am not living the same day over and over, but my life is very routine. It is human nature to stick to a routine, and it isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it can get boring.
The alarm sounds at 5:00, at 5:15 I drag myself out of bed, feed the pets, walk the dog, make the coffee, microwave the breakfast sandwich, get ready for work and walk out the door at 7:20. I get to the office, clock in, check emails and respond, sort through the inbox on my desk, work on my projects, chat with my co-workers, eat another PB&J for lunch. And so on and so on.
Changing things up
When I was first diagnosed with PD my routine changed, and I was most definitely out of my comfort zone. I was going to occupational therapy, speech therapy, and physical therapy. Then I was working late to try to make up some hours so I didn’t burn through my sick leave. At the same time, my family doctor did blood work to find that I was vitamin D deficient, explaining some of my fatigue.
By the end of my 3-month stint in therapy, I felt great. Between the physical exercise and the vitamin D supplement, I had more energy, slept better, and moved more freely than I had in a long time. But therapy is over, and while I am still exercising and I spend less time watching TV and more time in my craft room I am right back into the routine rut.
As you may have noticed, I have become fond of the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge. It is fun and helps me to be more creative. This week it also pushed me out of my comfort zone because this week Simon says make something that is Not A Card.
Now I have made boxes and tags and envelopes. I do a little sewing. I even paint with acrylic on canvas, but cards are my main make. This seemed like a great challenge for doing something different, so I decided to try something I haven’t done before.
I have never done a collage on canvas before. I do not recall having collaged before, although I must have in grade school art class.
I had a set of 4”x4” canvases for a different project that I never started, so I scrounged around my craft room for supplies. Here’s a list:
2 – 4”x4” canvases
Pale blue tissue paper from an old Paper Pumpkin kit
A Martha Stewart Stencil
Yellow craft paint
Bees and sentiment colored and cut out from SSS monthly card kit Bee Yourself
Die-cut honeycomb, bee trail stamp and sequence from SSS monthly card kit Bee Yourself
Flowers cut from patterned paper from Colorbok’s Poolside 12×12 paper pad
Off-brand white glue from the dollar store and an old paintbrush
The bees and sentiment I had already stamped on Strathmore Bristol smooth paper and colored with Ohuhu alcohol markers then cut out with the intention of making a card. I used the words JUST and BEE without the rest of either sentiment bee-cause those words were larger and only outlined so I could color them any way I wanted. And I like the sentiment “Just Bee”, it reminds me that it is okay to take a few minutes and just exist with no expectations.
I started by gluing the tissue paper to the canvases and setting them aside to dry while I cut out the flowers from the Poolside paper pad. I then figured out how I wanted the flowers laid out on the project and trimmed them accordingly before gluing them to the canvas.
The Finished Piece
I had an idea about the placement of some elements, but others I just added as I went. The bee with his eyes closed looks like he is meditating to me, so I knew he’d be laying on a flower just Beeing.
It isn’t perfect, but I am happy with it. I brought it to work and put it on my shelf so when things are hectic I will have a reminder to calm down, breathe deep, and Just Bee.
I hope you find a way to get out of your rut today. Until next time, keep moving, shaking, and making!
I know, it’s July, but that means 5 months until Christmas, and this year I am not leaving making my cards until Thanksgiving. In fact, I’ll be starting Thanksgiving cards soon too.
I am making this card in a set of 6, so I started by stamping my image with Versafine black onyx ink 8 times on Canson XL watercolor paper. I knew I’d mess up at least 1 image, and I did. I used Arteza watercolor brush pens to color the image. I did some direct to paper coloring and some scribbling ink onto my glass mat and applying it with a paint brush. I think they’re pretty cute.
I also used my Spectrum Noir glitter pen to add shimmer to the rim and puffball on the hats, but even after letting it dry overnight, most of the shimmer came off during die-cutting. Lesson learned.
This stamp set from Recollections has matching dies, which do not leave any white space. Having a shaky hand made lining the die up difficult, but with the help of Washi tape I managed. Next, using another Recollections stamp set, I stamped a label style sentiment and fussy cut it. Then I cut a patterned paper from the Love Nicole Let it Snow paper pad into 5 ¼” x 4” backgrounds.
Finally I assembled my card fronts, and realized I did not have enough heavy weight cardstock to make my card bases, so I ordered some. I plan to mount my card fronts on Neenah Classic Crest 110 lb smooth solar white card bases.
I think this is a simple, cute holiday card, or even just a winter card. It was certainly a fun craft for a 90 degree weekend.
I hope you had time to enjoy your crafty project this weekend.
Until next time, keep moving, shaking, and making!