Free Pattern: Beginner Baby Blanket

©2016-Lindsay-Obermeyer-baby-blanket

A baby is born with a need to be loved – and never outgrows it. – By Frank A. Clark

This is a simple, beginner's level baby blanket.  It falls in the category of tv knitting, you know, that project you can do while watching tv and not get too lost with what you are knitting.  This blanket was designed as a newborn receiving blanket, but could easily be adjusted to other sizes.

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Frugal Times :: Negotiating lower Medical Bills

 

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Image from deathtostockphotos

 

 

He who will not economize will have to agonize -- Confucius

Today, I spent an entire morning and part of my afternoon on the phone for nearly 5 hours trying to get the answer to a few simple questions. 

  1.  What is the price of an echocardiogram? 
  2. Where is the cheapest place in the city to have one done?

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The Heart Truth: Wear RED!

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February is without a doubt one of my favorite months. It is the shortest of the winter months which is a big deal to a gal who craves spring and summer.  But most of all February reminds us to tell those we love that we do love them and even to go and give them a smooch.  Pink and red are two of my favorite color schemes.  Throw in a bit of lace and swoon!

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CHA Mega Show Blog Hop

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So you are going to CHA, the annual Craft and Hobby Associations mega show.  Oh, lucky you!  I am having to miss it this year.  What am I missing out on? 

Hundreds of vendors each with hundreds of fabulous products for art and craft making.

Many of these vendors offer demonstrations on how to use their products, as well as make and take projects.  I love this time to just wander the aisles trying out new pens, test driving various glues.  I mostly work in textiles, the yarny arts, as well as surface design, so its great time to try out so many products I don't really know. But my favorite?  My absolute favorite?  I love the fashion show by Lion Brand Yarns. Here is a short video I made several years ago from their 2013 Fashion show, narrated by Vanna White.  They often feature the work from student designers which gives you a glimpse of trends in other parts of the world.  In 2013 the students were all from Israel.  If you aren't a knitter or yarn buyer, you may not get a seat, but that's okay.  Get there a little before showtime to grab a good spot to stand. Bring your camera or video recorder, with Vanna White as MC, you know it's going to be a good show.  

As a vegetarian, make sure you bring some food with you. I tended to stick to the wraps from one of the kiosks outside the show floor.  I also brought a refillable water bottle to stay hydrated.  I'd buy my wrap before heading to the show floor, so I didn't have to leave when I got hungry.  I prefer to sit at the tables in the back area near the hamburgers and such.  Sit down and ask folks what they do.  I found it a great way to hear the needs of shop owners and to have a personal conversation with them about how I could offer them my services.  

Be sure to bring LOTS of business cards.  I generally go through 1000 per show.  I followed another designer's advice, have your photo on one side.  This has made a huge difference for me. Folks recognized me at the second show. And make some sort of swag for vendors and editors to remember you.  I made lavender sachets with envelopes I made.  I sealed them with a sticker feturing my website.  The sachet was usable and a nice way to sent their belongings while packed and it was light weight and noncaloric.  Yes, candy is nice, but one can only eat so much candy.  I also have a personal trademark, I always where unusual, brightly colored glasses.  It helps make me stand out.

Another must is a folder to organize all the cards you receive.  I always jot down snippets of conversation onto the cards so I can directly follow up after the show.  I then organize them in a folder so I can easily find them.  You will collect dozens at a time and they are easy to misplace, so a folder keeps it tidy and useful to use.  I then reviewed them each night, making a list of 10 people I for certain want to contact, writing notes of ideas, etc.  It's easy to get distracted by all the fun, but this is about business, and hopefully making some money. Right?

My last piece of advice, you will see many women dressed in professional suits wearing heels.  But you will be walking miles every day, wear good comfortable shoes. Not sneakers unless you designed them.  And wear something you made.  It's a great conversation starter.  I know some designers who've landed book contracts this way.  Someone comments on their jewelry and a conversations begins and then you are asked to send a proposal.  Go for it!

To see my reviews of past shows - 

2014 Mega Show and 2014 Mega Show - it was so big it required two posts.

Winter Show 2013

Summer 2011

My Designer Showcase Summer 2012

In honor of CHA's 75th anniversary, we are celebrating with a blog hop and giant cash drawing.  Their are just three entry options to win a $500+ Visa gift card:

  • Leave a comment on my blog (mandatory) answering the question - "What is your favorite "can't live without" craft supply or tool?"
  • Tweet about the giveaway  (tweet text includes #CHAshow hashtag; can tweet daily for extra entries)

Answer a multiple-choice poll about how often you "cre8time" for crafting  (double entry value)

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

CHECK OUT ALL BLOG POSTS IN THIS HOP - LOTS OF GREAT ADVICE!


Blog planning for 2016

©2016 Lindsay Obermeyer blog 2016

Many people look forward to the new year for a new start on old habits. ~Author Unknown 

I am back.  I've not been on vacation, actually quite the opposite.  I recently left my job as a lab research assistant in the neurology department at Washington University's School of Medicine.  Between the lab position and my position as an arts professor at Chicago State University, I was working 50+ hours a week which is a heavy load, but add that my brain is still healing from last year's stroke, I had to take a step back. Initially I let my design career go, along with an active update of this blog.  But you know, as much as I loved the research, I love this more.  I like working from home and sharing my passion for the arts, crafts, cooking and good health.  A fellow cardiac rehab inmate's words echoed through my head - "Good health is a part-time job." Yep it sure is.  Now I have time to go to the gym on a daily basis and make myself nutritional meals. If I am tired, I can take a nap.  An early theme on this blog dating back nearly 10! years ago, is one of balance. I think many can identify with wanting to find a balance between work, family and basic time for self.  I generally have sucked at it.   I think it took having a stroke for me to actually come to grips with it.  When you hit a medical emergency such as a stroke or cancer, your perspective on life shifts.  Every second counts now and I need to live each second as fully as possible. I love my work- teaching and making art are a part of who I am.  But sometimes I get a bit greedy for experiences and  take on more than I can comfortably handle. I am still learning what my limits are now post stroke.  

So in the interest of getting back to my blog, I decided I needed a planner. I once read that for one to be successful, one must spend 10 minutes a day planning and dreaming.  I don't know where I read that, probably as I was scanning through my Twitter feed one morning.  Anyway, I googled free blog planner 2016 and found this lovely one by Confessions of a Homeschooler. The only thing missing from it are major holidays and important National Days, such as National Day of the Donught (November 5th).  So bookmark these links as I am sure they will help you prepare for the new year.

I printed out the blog planner and went straight to Kinko's to have it spiral bound.  It's cute and makes me happy.  I spent a few minutes with it at lunch with my afternoon espresso and the ideas rolled out and onto paper. I am so excited!!! Organization at last!  I hope you will follow me through my journey into and through 2016.    


Social Networks and Stroke Recovery Blog

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The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious.  It is the source of all true art and science. -- Albert Einstein

I recently started working on a new installation of crocheted mandalas.  They are the visualizations of the data from the research of  my neurologist Dr. Amar Dhand.  As this project is sure to take over my life and develop one of its own, much in the way The Red Thread Project® did, I thought it fitting to create a blog based on this work. I will update it with new mandalas, insights from the research and of course patterns too.  My ultimate goal is to collect 795,000 mandalas,one for each new stroke victim in the United States.  The number is staggering!  This is my way of taking my experience and hopefully sharing with you what I've learned along the way to better health.  So please take a moment to step on over to my new blog and follow its updates.  Thank you!

 


how to create filet crochet charts from your own photos.


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I think therefore I am -  René Descartes

Hello!  based on responses from a recent Facebook post, I thought I'd write up a short tutorial on how  to create a custom chart for filet crochet (or knitting) from a personal photo.  As you may know, I had a stroke last year.  This work is for a show I'm building called "Coming Unraveled."  Basically we spend a lifetime building our identites. There is that saying from Cartesian philosophy - " I think, therefore I am."  So the question I pose, is"If you stop thinking, then who the heck are you?!"  This is the bit on coming unravelled.  So I am crocheting a large portrait of myself in filet crochet which when finished.  I will set up a video camera to record a performance of me systematically unraveling the image and creating something new with the image.  That's been my life this past year, a long and difficult journey of accepting that I'm not the same person and that I have to construct a new life and new identity for myself. Make sense so far?

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4 month anniversary of stroke survival

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“Illness is the night side of life, a more onerous citizenship. Everyone who is born holds dual citizenship, in the kingdom of the well and in the kingdom of the sick. Although we all prefer to use the good passport, sooner or later each of us is obliged, at least for a spell, to identify ourselves as citizens of that other place.” -- Susan Sontag

I passed a few major milestones in the past few weeks.  I successfully took the train to Chicago to teach at the university.  I managed to get around okay.  I was tired, very, very tired afterward.  I also regained my driver's license!  I joke that the silver lining in having had a stroke is that I get to feel 16 again.  I will use any excuse to drive.  I love the freedom!  While I am grateful for all the folks who offered me rides to and from rehab, but I hated feeling so dependent.  I eventually started taking cabs, just to have a little sense of independence.

The hardest part I face now is being respected by my family, for what I've endured and to have them accept that I've been permanently changed by the event.  I have worked hard to regain my faculties. I dilegently practiced all i was told to do in rehab which has helped. But my brain doesn't work the same.  They don't hear / see the difference, but I know it's there.  When I ask directly for help.  I rarely get it unless it is convenient for them.  Well, excuse me for living, the stroke hasn't been exactly convenient for me. I try to be pateient knowing that a severe illness effects more than just the patient.  But that's such bullshit.  I'm as a result forced to carry the weight of my illness and disability in addition to eveyone else's issues with my illness, as well as their own fears. I've begun to call the left side of my body George as I feel like a line splits me down the middle with my right and left feeling distinctly diffferent. The only thing that relieves my sense of the divide is Pilates and Thai massage. If you are a caretaker or family member reading this blog, please remember that the patient doesn't want to ask for help because they know they are being a burden, so when they do ask for help, for goodness sake help them! It took them a lot to just ask, not just emotionally, but they have to try connecting a few zillion neruons to get the words out of their mouth, let alone to make their mouth move.

It's now 3 weeks since I started this post.  I hesitated to post it as I don't like to focus on anger.  But anger there is.  My life is dramtically different.  I used to have a very full and busy life which was stressful at times, but which I really enjoyed. i am sick of people saying that  I am better off now.  How rude and flippant. It takes everything I've got to make it successfully through a day.  I have a fatigue that can zap me at any minute.  I would rather spend my day doing what I enjoy rather than hunting down a new doctor.  Because of the anger, friends keep suggesting I see a therapist.  Well back to that previous sentence.  I don't want to spend what little of my day of which I have energy to enjoy by chasing down a doctor. If you don't want to hlisten to me, then just say so or why not just change the subject!  Once again, you make me the one having to look out for you and that prevents me from focusing on myself and my healing process.  

Yesterday was really the icing on he cake.  A woman at a coffee shop noticed me limping a bit I was tired and when I tire, my left side gets weaker, so I limp a bit. No biggie to me.  I'm just glad to be wakling and talking.  She had the gall to ask me why I was limping.  I told her the truth, that i had had a stroke and was feeling tired.  She and her boyfriend proceeded to tell me that it was all due to me being a vegetarian.  What the fuck.?!  Excuse the language. But really people?  I asked if they were doctors.  Of course not.  Doctors don't know everything.  Well, clealrly they know zip, let alone how to mind their own buisiness.

This is my last survival update for a while. I started them as their was nothing out there for young patients.  Eveything was geared toward those in their 60's - 80s.  I'm not retired, or even close to it, I don't have a husband to support me.  This is it.  Me and only me keeping the balls rotating in the air.  I'm now going back to craft and art.  Thank you for reading.

 PS - My 40 year anniversary day for suviving chidhood cancer is August 4th.  I was given 3-6 months to live at the time.  HA!  I'm thinking that a float down a local river might be the best way to celebrate living.  :-) And now for some chocoalte! We vegetairians need our antioxidants!


Stroke Survival Week 4

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Well if you have been reading my blog,or what has remained legible of it, you know that I had a stroke in Februrary.  The doctors still don't know why as i don't smoke, don't drink much have eaten a low ft vegetrian diyet for 20 years and try to exercise.  

Last week I had another scare.  I erred on the side of caution and went to the ER.  I had  a bad heedache wih other symptoms,. Given that 20 mintues between the start of a stroke and getting to the hospital for treatment can mean rhe difference between life and death, let alone any chance for recovery.  i was elated to learn that it was only a migraaue.  Yay!  Especially as I couldn't stand another two months of recovery.  I am not allowed to drive and have zero energy and still some trouble with my lwft hand, though that is improving- fewer typing errors.  And being the art geek tht I am, I asked my neurologist about seein my MRI and CT scans.  Sure he said.  His sister is an artist, so he understood and geeked out himself to see me so excited.  And then he pointed out the area where my bain died.  Yep, died.  Brain cells are not like skin cells, they don't renew themselves. Thespeech and occupational therapists kept saying that a stoke permanently changes your life. Well, frankly, I didn't really ge it until I saw it in lack and White.  iI am learning to create new brain paths around the dead matter.  I no longer have much patience for distracting noises and taking an accurate phone message is a pain in the tush. He was really encouraging and said I was doing remarkably well given the severity of my stroke.  i didn't think it was so bad as my only guage was Katherine Hepurn, who had to relearn how to talk to conintue wih her acting career.  I was up an dwwlking/ talking wihin hours of admission.  The whole expeience has certainly opened my eyes.

We treat the elderly and infirmed abominally in this country. if you don't have refular converstations with others, your world shrinks.  There is so little respect or assistance for them. Once i am cleared to drive I am going to volunteer to take a patient to rehab if they need the help. High School classmates have been helping me and I am very grateful.  They've even helped me run a few errands.  When you can no longer drive,your life is limited especially as you don't have the energy for public transportation.  Life is erduced to reading and watching tv.  which is fine, but their is no companionship.  if you have an elderly rlative in a nursing home- visit them weekly. It will help them immeasurably.

I am slowly getting it through my thick skull, that there is more to life that work.  It's hard for me to not work as i love what I do!  Well, I've already arranged my first vacation in years.  Hurrah!

I am slowly getting back to crafting.  No worries, ther will b new patterns soonish.  I can create.  ut thinking logically to writ out all the steps i still really difficult.  

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