Christmas shopping starts!!

And Halloween is over! Thanksgiving is fast approaching. I went to the store today and wow! I don’t know why I’m surprised because it happens every years. Candy canes, Christmas candy and more on the shelves!! I lost my husband 4 years ago and I gave away our Christmas tree to my nieces. I would have kept it but this gave them a bigger tree and I get to see them have joy in it. I always go over to help them put it up after Thanksgiving! This year, I bought a little 4 foot tree. I wanted something special myself. I hope someday I can get a big tree again. I would like at least 6 to 7 feet! With the lights already on it! I love stockings, Christmas music, and all the little traditions. Those are what matter!!

I’m already working on custom ornaments in my shop, I’m getting ready for a local show at SKY Armory in Syracuse NY. Since I added sublimation, I can now do custom pillows, mugs and more! So keep checking back at my shop to see what I add!

Stay warm if you’re in the east, its 39 degrees here and the wind is blowing like crazy so it feels much colder. Have a great weekend!


Christmas in July!

I’m already getting ready for Christmas! Not only for business (adding new products, supplies and even equipment to make NEW gifts for you to give!!). But also getting personal gifts ordered because once fall its, my world gets topsy turvy. Who else is already shopping for Christmas?

Next week I am going to be on Gotta Be Handmade YouTube channel. Check it out on July 25th! I’ll also have a promo code ready for anyone shopping early! Check back soon.


A Piece of My Heart is in Heaven Necklace

I love making these necklaces. Because I have lost my sister and my husband. And my grandparents. And we always know that we could lose someone, but its still so incredibly hard. People will tell you they are sorry, but their life goes on. Your life is stuck. Grieving is a process that takes forever, and you truly never move on. Someone once told me “It will never be the same OK”. That is the best advice I’ve ever gotten. And the last three years have been so hard.

So although I do lots of personalized gifts, memorial gifts are my favorite because I hope they will bring a little comfort.

Here is one of the necklaces I’ve made, as well as ornaments and more. Check out my Etsy shop for more!

Happy Memorial Day- Thank you to all those who gave the ultimate sacrifice!

I hope you have a wonderful memorial day! That its filled with family, friends, love and laughter. With parades, fireworks and FUN!! Most of all though, Memorial Day is to remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice (to me, that is my veteran, my late husband, who I am forever grateful to for his service to his country. He is my hero!). And to every family and veteran out there that gave the ultimate sacrifice, we remember you. Thank you.

Living with PLE

Summer is coming and its the best time of the year for many!!

But for some of us living with PLE, it can be a fun yet difficult time. I love the sunshine and fresh air as much as anyone else. I feel less depressed. I LOVE not bundling up in a ton of layers and boots just to go outside. I am truly happy to see spring time!

Yet three years ago, I started getting rashes and very ill by the end of the day when I went outside. It wasn’t a burn, it was like being stung by a bunch of bees. It was painful and itchy. And I felt like I had the flu. I would get chills, a sore throat and feel hot all at the same time.

I have dealt with an autoimmune disease since 12. Yet this was different. It took a while to get into a specialist. The first year, I didn’t do anything (I’m not a huge fan of doctors!). And then it took a long time to get an appointment. Then a biopsy. The diagnosis was polymorphic light eruption. Which means my immune system is reacting to the UV from the sun. I thought I was going crazy! I thought it was stress. I was using sunscreen and wearing clothes to cover up. I sat in the shade, but I still would get sick.

Just 10-15 minutes outside, and I start breaking out. There is no relief. Sitting in the shade is helpful, but it doesn’t eliminate the rash or symptoms of PLE. It still happens. Yes, sometimes I sit outside anyway (in the shade). And hope the symptoms won’t be as severe.

Yet as summer comes, people are talking about family picnics, getting together with friends in the outdoors and as business owner, network meetings are moved outside. And sometimes it feels like you’re not a part of it. Sometimes I wonder if anyone believes me. This is why I want to share this with anyone suffering from PLE. And if you THINK you are, you should go see a doctor!

There is no cure, and the treatment is too dangerous to use all the time.

But its hard to know that the summer may bring many invitations that I have to turn down. That sometimes I will go outside and try, and I will get sick. And sometimes family and friends won’t understand. Even those that have seen the severe rash by nighttime. Because when its not your body, its hard to understand. Its hard to understand what it feels like to crawl into bed with chills, a sore throat and headache because you went outside.

So I want to reach out to anyone suffering from PLE. I want you to know you’re not alone! Because sometimes it feels that way. Enjoy your summer but know its OK to say no, I can’t go outside this time. I don’t like to share especially personal things on my blog but knowing how isolating this can leave you, I wanted to write about my experiences for others living with this too.

Happy Spring!!