Friday, April 24, 2009

Happy Etsy Day!

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This great offer is almost over, so hurry and take advantage of it!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Etsy Find ~ Vintage Bakelite Dice Earrings from Daisytoad

Aren't these earrings fun? I just had to share this find from Talk about going out on the town in style! One of a kind accessory to give you that extra bit of luck, you will be the talk of the casino! Great find Daisytoad!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Komen Southern AZ Race for the Cure

On Sunday, I participated in my third Komen 5K walk as a survivor! If you have ever attended a Komen race, you know how awesome and overwhelming this event is. As a survivor, I can tell you that I am awestruck each year when I see the vast amount of people who, in one way or another, are touched by breast cancer and drawn to participate in this larger than life event. 14,000 people attended the race on Sunday and over $1,000,000 was raised to eradicate breast cancer. That is simply awe inspiring.

Each year, I find myself overwhelmed to the point of tears as I drive towards the survivors parking lot. Tears of joy at seeing the volunteers setting up the water stations, tears of sadness for those who lost their lives to breast cancer, tears of sorrow for my personal friends who were taken too early and tears of joyful acknowledgement that I am still here and living a full and rewarding life. This year, my son John accompanied me, which added to my tears of joy.

In the midst of all of my emotions and crowd, I find that the Komen race offers me a time for peaceful refection of my personal growth. My first Komen Race happened to be on the 1 year anniversary of my diagnosis. I had just quit my job of 11 years and was in the beginnings of re defining my life after cancer. I was not involved in a support group and walked with my sons' school. It was an extremely emotional day for me. I came to the realization that day, that I had shut people out of my life. The friends that I had were work related and were not there. I was alone and I didn't like it.

That day was a turning point for me. I joined a support group shortly thereafter and began the process of redefinition. Two years later, the social recluse that I used to be has blossomed into a social butterfly. I was not alone at the Komen race, I was surrounded by my support group sisters and my darling son.

I now find myself taking chances and getting involved in activities that tap into my creative side, which I did not allow myself to do in my other life. I find myself craving social interaction, whereas before I craved isolation. My silversmith class has opened up many doors to places that I didn't realize. Hence, the creation of my Etsy shop, Caroline's Curio.

I used to get mad when people said that cancer was a gift. Now, although I still feel that I wouldn't ask for this gift, I am content in knowing that I am living a better and more fulfilling life after cancer.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Back to Basics

I just had to make this cake, in spring colors for Easter! When I was a girl, my mother would make checkerboard cakes for us. She also made money cakes. She wrapped quarters, dimes and nickles with aluminum foil and baked them in a cake!

My mom is a hoot. There's always some fun memory of something! Like the time that she hid peanuts all over the backyard for my brothers birthday party and happened to glance outside later and saw all the squirrels taking off with their loot. Too funny!

When I found a "gadget" to make checkerboard cakes, I called my mom and she shared with me how she made the checkerboard 30 some years ago. She baked the layers and then froze them. Then she cut out a small circle, a medium circle and a large circle from each layer and swapped them. Viola! Checkerboard Cake. It probably was cleaner, easier, more fun (and creative) to make this cake the back to basics way then the newfangled way.

Well, at least I served it on my "new" vintage chrome cake holder complete with screw on handled lid, I might add. I don't know about you, but the farther I walk into the vintage era, the more intolerance I have for anything that is not simple and basic. Although it was fun to recreate a good memory from my childhood, regardless of simplicity.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Etsy - Your Online Marketplace For All Things Handmade

Anyone who spends enough time on the internet knows how frustrating it can be to find a safe reliable online marketplace. Then, I stumbled into Etsy.

I have to admit, that I am a past eBay seller, who wanted to find a new place to peddle my wares. My main focus was support, a positive climate and something different. I can't even remember how I stumbled upon Etsy, but it has been a great experience and it's getting better and better! Forums are positive and members go out of their way to help us "newbies". There really is a small town feel about etsy, even though it is growing and growing in popularity.

I currently have 12 of my favs from other Etsy Shops on display towards the top of my blog. Let's just call it a pay it forward to my fellow Etsy members! Enjoy and go forth with the pay it forward mindset -- in the end, you end up getting more in the way of warm fuzzies when you give and that's really what it's all about, isn't it? Happy Thursday All!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

An Aha Moment

Most people who know me, know that I have a 9 year old deaf son named John. John and I usually communicate fairly well. I am finally taking a formalized ASL class at the community college and am amazed that after almost 10 years of signing, how much I am learning in regards to ASL grammar! I'm actually learning more about English grammar as well....that's another story...

This morning, John and I had the opportunity to have a nice breakfast, just the two of us, at Chaffin's Diner in Tucson. For one hour we conversed in ASL and I had the opportunity to use a lot of the new information that I have been learning in my class. The look on my son's face was priceless. He was enjoying himself so much that he didn't want to go to school early to play with his friends, he wanted to stay and communicate with me.

My aha moment was when we in the car and I turned around to sign how much I enjoyed our conversation and his face literally lit up with such enthusiasm as he signed back "me too". Wow.....

A Glimpse into My Journey

I decided to redirect my walk this morning to the Richard & Annette Bloch Cancer Survivors Plaza at the edge of Reid Park in Tucson, Arizona. Something was telling me to go there, as I'd never physically gone there before. I've driven by more times than I can remember and glanced over at the plaza and the gorgeous statues always feeling a sense of calm.

This morning, I took the time to read the messages on the 22 inspiration pedestals and was amazed at the inspiration that they invoked in me. I am a three year breast cancer survivor, looking forward to participating in my third Komen race this coming Sunday.

The message that touched me the most was, "Make up your mind that when your cancer is gone, you are through with your cancer". Amen. Cancer will always be a part of me, but I don't need to be a part of cancer. I'm finding that although my life after cancer journey is constantly evolving, I also need some back to basics tweaking every now and then. That was what this message did for me.