Nellie"s Needles

Friday, June 29, 2012

Good News

 Through the Door  26"x20 (2002)

Just before we left Knoxville in mid-May, an irregularity showed up in a mammogram. A sonogram a few days later showed that further investigation was necessary. I decided to have that done in Michigan just in case....  Not that I don't have good friends in Tennessee, but I have a number of longtime friends here, as well as family close by. And then too, the summer weather on the shoreline of Lake Michigan is a lot more preferable than the sweltering heat of Tennessee.

A needle core biopsy was performed on June 13th at the Betty Ford Breast Center in Grand Rapids. The pathology report indicated cancer. My husband and I had a meeting with the surgeon the next day to find out the extent of the cancer and my options for getting it "out of there." The cancer was small, about 1 centimeter. Although it was an invasive one, it was encapsulated (contained) within a milk duct and slow growing. I had an MRI on both breasts to make sure it's the only one and to give the surgeon more specific information about it's location and size.

Surgery was two days ago and all went well. The cancer being encapsulated in a duct could be removed by a lumpectomy along with just 2 lymph nodes.  I'm grateful for that rather than a mastectomy and many more lymph nodes having to be taken out. I'm lucky it was small and had not spread.

I'm to take it easy for a couple of weeks while the two incisions heal. I feel okay right now, but then I'm on pain pills. The only ill effect so far was nausea until the anesthesia wore off. In August, six weeks of radiation will start. Those daily treatments will ensure that no loose cancer cells have survived.

The prognosis for me getting through this and going full steam again is really good. One day at a time will get me there. My feelings are reflected in the quilt at the top of this post ... it's a little bit dark, as well as stark, in the room where I'm standing, but I'll soon step across the threshold into the sun filled one.

Never again will I be reluctant to have a mammogram. I had this one as part of a physical ... which I got only because I had turned 70. I urge each of  you who read my blog to have one if you, too, have been putting it off.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Tropical Garden Layout

Today I finally got some actual work done on the tropical garden piece for which I had composed and sewn the first layer of work in my Tennessee studio.
The leaves, flowers, and tiki are just laid in place. I consider this to be an initial layout. There will more plants in the foreground and upper corners as well as those you see getting more refined. I see at least two more layers of work before it's finished. Here's an example of the layers for one of the panels of "Prairie Performance"...

All the leaves and flowers are laid over the background (first photo) in the center picture. In the third one, most of them are placed under a layer of tulle netting to hold them in place while some of them are stitched on top of the tulle to give depth and dimension to the piece.

It feels good to actually have gotten some actual elements on that background after the hours spent doing the prep work of gathering foliage and flower petals as well as researching information about particular plants.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Pink Sunsets

Dramatic pink sunsets have lit up the sky over Lake Michigan last evening and this one.
These magical and seemingly unreal effects always amaze me and I hesitate to portray such "outlandish" effects in my lake series. Going back through the photos of that series I found that I had done so in these three:
 "Lake #26"
 "Lake #56"
"Lake #62"
Reality can be amazing! This pink and violet sunset with a lightening strike happened a few weeks ago. If I portrayed this in an art piece it would look so UNreal.

Saturday, June 09, 2012

"The Lake" Is SOLD

I'm pleased to announce that two days ago "The Lake" was purchased by a private collector from Good Goods Gallery in Saugatuck, Michigan.
Many of you may recall that it was created for ArtPrize 2010 where it was a popular entry. It garnered enough fans to be rated in the top 75 vote getters of the 1, 713 entries that year. Since its month long exhibition at DeVos Place in Grand Rapids, Michigan for ArtPrize it's been hanging in the Saugatuck gallery. For a bit more than a year it hung in the upstairs gallery on a gold colored wall. Standing in front of it felt as though you were right there on the beach.

A few months ago it was moved to the gallery room that features Sticks furniture.
It's being hung on a dark wall in a room-like setting gave it a whole new perspective. The effect was that of viewing the lake through a window. Seeing it for the first time in this setting literally took my breath away when I walked into the room.

Every time I've gone to visit it, there have been a number of people interested to hear about its creation ... and to be privy to the hidden Elvis images.
Rarely, do I become emotionally attached to my art pieces. When that happens, I gift those pieces dear to my heart to family or friends so that I can visit my creations now and then. Otherwise, it's the adventure of the creative process ... the exploring and playing that thrills me. I'm glad this piece has found a home ... but I will miss being able to visit it.