Sunday, December 26, 2010

I received the nicest Christmas gift from a friend of my named Polly. My anticipation grew as Christmas Day approached as she made me promise to wait until Christmas morning. I did and it was well worth the wait. Inside the english paper, and two pretty red ribbons was a handmade stationary set.
The details are fantastic, from the gold trim, golden ribbon to the 3D effect of the hedghog on the front.
She and her husband live in the UK where right now it's very snowy and not easy for them to get around. Polly has been my friend for a few years now and we've written off and on ever since.
She has a shop on Etsy named "Pollys" and in it are creatively made cards and my first purchase from her shop was a green and white striped apron. She has listed purses and bags; tags and note cards for different occassions.

As I opened it, golden ribbons seemed to pour out, as I looked at the handmade tags and the gloriously detailed bookmark. It was awe inspiring to say the least as it was the only gift I personally received that day. I thought of all the thought and detail that went into the set, the hedgehog pattern paper, decorated envelopes, and the strength of the "wallet" itself.

I really don't want to use anything out of it as to me it's a work of art.
These are the envelopes. Sturdy, creative and quite whimsical.
You can visit Polly's shop at
and you can be assured that you will receive
quality filled creatively handmade cards (she also makes lovely handmade satchets, bags, purses and aprons too!)
The stationary came in two different sizes;
one size for notes and one size for letters.
Wonderfully made tags, thoughtfully made
with little grommets and beautiful
golden ribbon
Beautifully detailed bookmark on both sides.
I hope your New Year brings everything you dream of; May you have health, happiness and above all
friends like mine.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Saying Goodbye to Daisy

We had to say goodbye to our Daisy yesterday. It's new and exciting when you bring that puppy home and have all these ideas of fun things you both will do. Go for walks, play catch, teach your puppy to play frisibie, dress her up in funny cute clothes and hats and take her places to show her off.

When Daisy was 9 months old she ripped apart our living room furniture. After doing that, she pee'd all over both of what was left. I guess she wasn't happy that we left to go to work. I wasn't very happy about it. She destroyed a wall in the kitchen, ripped up tile from the kitchen floor but what was worse, she started fights, bad fights with our older dog, Buddy. After trying everything we could to stop those terrible confrontations we had to keep her in the kitchen, gated, until we felt that she had gotten over being so agressive. It took a long time but finally she began to behave and love Bud. She didn't like being out in the kitchen and as soon as she would act up, we'd march her right back out there and put the gate up. So she began to learn that her behavior got her back out there. So that's why I think she stopped. We let her in; she would still try to be alpha dog with Bud by 'herdin' him around but it was tolerable and Bud loved Daisy so their was really no more problems.

We couldn't really take Daisy for walks because she had a bad palette that caused her a lot of trouble breathing when she walked for a short distance. She loved walks, I took her many times just to help her settle down. But then we'd get back home and have to either pack her with ice, put her in the bathtub with cool water or just let her rest until her breathing got better.

She loved fruit and veggies. Bananas, apples, but especially cantaloupe. As soon as I cut the melon she came running if she wasn't already in the kitchen waiting for something to drop on the floor. I once cooked her a whole bag of peas and she ate them mixed with her dog food. Green beans were another favorite of hers. The one thing I never got her to eat was lettuce.

It was the last week in May, 2010 I was petting Daisy under her chin and felt two large lumps, I knew they had to be her lymph nodes but just thought it was a virus or something because she had a runny nose. I spent time with her every day and so did Geoff so this was a very sudden sickness. I called the vet and she was in as soon as we could bring her in. The vet checked Daisy all over, took a blood sample, and then not finding anything decided to take samples from 3 of her lymph nodes on the right side of her. After a few minutes the vet came back in and told us that she hadn't seen these certian cells before, that they weren't common with the lymph node and that she would like to take the samples and send them to Michigan State University for further analysis. We would know in a week. She said to hope for the best but prepare for the worst. We took our Daisy home.

The end of the week came, but we didn't get the phone call we were expecting because it was Memorial Weekend and most people were gone on vacation. We were told that Pete, her vet would be in on Monday so we called on Monday. The results were in, Daisy had Lymphoma. He told us about the treatments that were available, that they were costly and the outcome may not be positive. Geoff and I had already had the conversation and had concluded that we would opt to forgo the treatments as we weren't financially able to cover the costs. So Pete told us He completely understood and for us to monitor her, watch for any signs of deterioration and that ultimately it would end with us having to bring her in and help her go to sleep. Then he told me we could put her on steroids to help her lymph nodes shrink, at least she would have an easier time swallowing. We drove to the vets on Memorial Day and brought Daisy her medicine and hoped for the best and began to prepare ourselves for the worst. But how do you prepare for that?

Since her diagnosis she was just so loving. No more agressive behavior did we ever witness against Buddy. She mothered him, licking his ears, only going outside when he did, laying by him, nudging him with her nose every once in a while to say "hey, everythings' gonna be OK."

I have a sore leg, where a few months ago I closed the car door on it. Two weeks ago, Daisy began going to that spot on my leg and licking it, there isn't any outside bruise or anything she just knew to go there. Daisy may have known something she couldn't tell me. We'll find out in August when I go to see my doctor.

We began noticing she wasn't eating. I mixed veggies with her food and she ate half of what she usually ate. She was drinking a lot because of the steroids and losing her bladder function but we didn't yell at her, we just kept loving her. I guess I thought in my heart that I could love her healthy. I was praying so hard everyday that the medicine would make her better so I could love her for many years to come. Up until she got sick I had a hard time with her because of the destruction she had caused but I still couldn't help but look into her eyes and see my Grandma's eyes. Ever since she was a puppy I looked at her and thought of my Grandma. I couldn't help but forgive her everytime she detroyed something else. I just started taking her for walks, little ones, just to make her feel like she was getting to do something different. I gave her meds, and anything she begged for. I bought her a whole carton of blueberries and after mixing it with her food I was suprised that she ate the whole bowl full. We had two weeks of steroids to give Daisy, the first few days I could tell her lymph nodes were shrinking and thought she was going to get better. After about the 5th day her nodes were back up to where they were when we started. She wasn't going to get better.

The last day of her meds I cried. I knew there wasn't anything more we could do. So I started giving her whatever she wanted. Popsicles, ice cream, peanut butter, bread, whatever she begged for. I began to see the English Bull I had always wanted. I fell in love with her for these last several weeks. I prayed like I hadn't prayed for anything before because I wanted the chance to show her how much I loved her. I saw her fall one day when I was petting her. Her hindquarters slid and I knew she was getting weaker. Geoff left for work that day and she threw up water. I knew we were going to have to start making plans for her last days if God didn't intervene. The next day I talked to Geoff and we decided that we should make an appointment for Saturday, July 24. We haven't stopped crying since. Her vet is so compassionate and I asked him "Pete, if she was yours what would you do" and he replied "I would help her go to sleep." So we did. We stayed for a little while after she was gone just to pet her and tell her we loved her. It was heart wrenching. It was the first time she let me hold her paw that long. She was still warm. I didn't want to leave her. Geoff covered her with the towel we brought for her and then Geoff asked the nurse to please treat Daisy like she was her own. We left, without our Daisy. We did request that they return Daisy's ashes to us, and our vet is making the arrangements.

Several times after we got home I thought I heard her walking in the living room. Once I thought I heard her panting. I walked into the kitchen and there on the floor was two little kibbles and if you knew Daisy like I did you knew she woulda cleaned those up. She never would've allowed those to go uneaten. So I picked those two little kibbles up and put them by her picture, along with her first puppy collar and her last collar. Then on facebook I told Daisy "I'll save these for you when I see you again." She'll love them, she was such a pig. LOL

Today it's a new day. We have been without our girl for a whole day now. We decided to go down to the Fulton Street ARTisian Market where I am a season vendor to sell my handmade items, but really just to get some air and try and move on. The most wonderful amazing thing happened. Today our friend, Bradley Youngstrom from The Rare Hare Studio came out, it was great to see him, he is such an amazing talented selfless individual. He has a heart of gold and he proved it once again today. He walked over and handed Geoff and I a beautiful watercolor of our Daisy. He had taken it from a picture I had posted on Facebook adding 3 little daisies in the corner. Geoff and I were moved to tears, it was a wonderful gesture, one we were not expecting. The details were fantastic, he captured Daisy so well. But you know you are looking at something great when you can see your Grandma's eyes in it. He captured my Grandma's eyes. Brad, you are such a sweetheart for doing this for us, we will never forget you. And we won't ever forget our Daisy.

This watercolor was lovingly painted by
Bradley Youngstrom.

Rest In Peace Our Daisy Girl
Feb 2004-July 2010

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Rantings and Ravings

I really just need to share some thoughts, no one will probably read these but if someone does and can relate that will make me smile. At least Iwill know I'm not alone.

Let's talk about driving. Who remembers free drivers ed in school? When they taught us by a little classroom book work and then we got out and drove. The drivers ed teacher ate a donut and drank a little coffee while he read his paper (Mr. Fedewa was his name I recall) while I drove around turning at his command. He basically taught defensive driving so that is how I drive now. It drives me nuts to be down here in the city. People just making their own rules as they go. Like yesterday, I was coming up to a light, signaling to get into the left hand turn lane when I discovered the right and middle lanes stopped to let some impatient individual out. As I got closer to the intersection the one coming out, making everyone stop and wait for him to advance pulled right in front of me to make that left hand turn. Now I'm the first one to be courteous when it comes to offering the last piece of pie, the last donut, the last soda, but don't ask me to stop my travel to almost get into an accident because some stupid man wants to cut into my lane. Why don't people just wait? What's the freakin hurry? OK, then there's the dumb wad sitting at the green light. Now I come from the country where we stop for stop signs, and for red lights but when the light turns green we GO. Down here city drivers sit at the green lights and run the red ones. I don't get it. It must be in the water. Then there is the occassional driver that loves to just gaulk at everything as they drive in the middle lane (fast lane where I come from) speed limit is 45 but for them to drive a mile over 30 well it's just unheard of. Especially on a weekday when I'm trying to get to work. I mean, what's to look at, at 5:30am? Those individuals are usually driving old Nissan Sentras. If I can't see your head, I wonder how you can see the road, and welp, this must explain the crawl down 28th ST. Sit on some books or somethin for pete's sake. And another thing...I understand slowing down a bit from your normal speed when it's raining, but since you usually go 30, it really doesn't help for you to be in the left hand lane (fast lane) and crawlin' at 15 mph. It really doesn't. GET OVER YOU RIDICULOUSLY IRRITATING PERSON PRETENDING TO DRIVE.

Whew. I am 50% less stressed out. Let's nab that last 50.

Let's talk about the workplace. Rules are put in place for a reason. They are enforced honestly so that everyone has the same, fair working conditions, etc. Why then are those that feel the rules don't apply to them? One rule we have is no cell phones are to be on the person. You may not use your cell phone or that of others' during working hours. They can be used on breaks however. They are almost always used in the restrooms now at any time, or behind things, in corners, out of purses where the individual can watch for the supervisor. Some come dressed like they are working as a cruise director. PEOPLE WE WORK IN A STUPID FACTORY. Not a cruise ship. We are not allowed to eat on the plant floor at any time unless it's a designated area. But just today I saw someone walking down the isle in the plant munching on a bag of somethin. Blatent disregard for the rules. People have regular eating times apart from break time, and they just go get their sandwiches or whatever they want to eat and just eat it. They know when the supervisor comes around so they plan their eating for times they know he will be less likely to walk around. When someone walks in with 2 or 3 shoulder bags it's almost a dead give away, that they are planning to do more than work. If they choose to work at all. I get so irritated sometimes because of the blatent disregard for the rules by others, could jeopardize my rights someday.

So this is a couple of my rantings for today. I feel 100% better. Now I have to sleep.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

I walked up to a table at FSAM last Sunday and fell in love with this steampunk mirror. It's made with an oblong beveled mirror, a kitchen knife and lots of little baubles and jewels.

I thought "what a fun way to check out all of my wrinkles." Well, the mirror looks pretty good......

Monday, July 5, 2010

Bradley Youngstrom ART

I love being included as one of Fulton Street ARTisians, and this summer being a season ARTisian I get to meet a lot of wonderfully talented people. Last year was my first year and while out there I met a man named Brad Youngstrom. His whimsical museum quality talent immediately caught my eye; he had a table full of gorgeous ALICE IN WONDERLAND items, handcrafted, and priced to sell. Last year I vowed to own some Bradley Youngstrom Art one day and I was excited to see him out at the market yesterday on the 4th of July. As soon as I had a chance I made a bee line for his table and saw what he had been working on this past week. I had to have her. It's a fairy, delicately trimmed in wonderful detail, aqua marine blue hair, feathers for wings, perfectly handpainted facial features. Her dress suits her bodacious body (we did have a giggle over this aspect), there is a hook in the back for hanging and her arms are able to move slightly...she has better legs than I'll ever have! The sugary sprinkles just sparkle in the sunlight and those are applied to her hair as well, with flowers to make her look like she flew through a field of daisies. You can find Brad at:

Come out and see his amazing works of art!

Friday, May 28, 2010


This writing finds me contemplating the fact that I have a hard time with loss. The loss of a friend, a pet, my car keys, even the loss of time. The lesson is to never take any thing for granted because one day, they won't be here and it will be less a world without them.

It was 1978 that I first saw Chris at school, me a young freshman and he, a handsome senior, and it wasn't that handsome smile, or his fabulous hair that captured my attention but his natural ability to play any keyboard, but especially the organ. I loved to sing; it was my secret that I wanted someday to sing to thousands of people. I often day dreamed about Chris accompanying me but then I was an unknown freshman and he a popular senior, with a lot of friends of his own. I almost got the courage one day to ask him to accompany me for a church service I had to sing for but I lost my nerve. He probably wouldn't want to be bothered with someone like me. I was so wrong.

It was the middle part of April, 2010, roughly 32 years later my good friend Marty mentioned to me that she would like me to help her with a Kidney Awareness bracelet that she thought she'd like to make. I asked her for the link where I could find the beads and she sent it to me via email and I bought them right away. She wasn't expecting this, but it's fun to make someone smile. I told her I'd make it for her, asked her what her wrist size was and designed a pretty groovy look for her, sent her the picture after I got it made and sent it off in the mail. Marty has been through so much in her life, I feel she deserves every bit of happiness she can get. And it was an honor to help her with this project.

Marty was pretty happy with the bracelet and she told her good friend, Chris. They talked about his desire to have a custom rosary made so she mentioned it to me. She told me that he was going to ask me to help him with this project and I almost was struck speechless that Chris would want ME to help him. (and those that know me well, know that for me to be struck speechless is a miracle). All those years before when I thought he didn't have time for me, was now proving to me that even someone as terrifically talented as Chris saw something in my ability and was asking me to create a custom designed rosary, the one he envisioned in his mind. For him to have faith in my ability like that took my breath away. The first thing I thought of was how one good deed had brought this great person back into my life, I caught my breath at the first email on April 17:

"Hey, LaShelle
Glad the idea of a Rosary intrigues you. Kindly send you’re mailing address so I can send you payment.
As for the beads, kindly string purple glass, interrupted only by sterling silver, hinged only to freshwater pearls.
Altogether willing to pay $XXX bucks. If that seems fair, let me know. Can advance you $XXX.
Kindest regards

From that moment I knew I was going to be working with a gem of a person. In the first conversations Chris told me how he would like me to make two rosaries; one for him and one for a dear friend. Later I found out that the one he intended the second one for had explained to her that for her to have one like his would be like they were "praying together." This was Chris' heart. So giving, so warm with a wonderful sense of humor. Eloquent writing, clearly simplistic but so understandable. It was like he knew how to talk with me. I have 24 emails from him while we worked on his rosary project and each day he told me how happy he was as I communicated with him. There was an incredible energy that he exuded and I caught it. Every step of the project he chose each piece and was so enthusiastic that I began hurrying home to see if he had written to me, for more ideas, or to choose the crucifix that he still had left to find. He would look for the component then send me the link; I then would purchase the desired component and kept a tab for him, letting him know how much he was spending on materials. Once I received all the components except for the unchosen crucifix's I told Chris I would begin putting them together. I had made a practice one and knew it was going to take about 3-3.5 hours for each one. Over the period of two days I worked on them, wire wrapping each bead (there are 59 in a 5 decade rosary) and then assembling the decades. There was a peaceful calm that I haven't felt in a long time, sitting here with each bead, knowing that Chris and his dear friend would touch each bead, and each bead had meaning. It was a prayerful, wonderfully peaceful time for me and such an honor.

April 20 I received an email from Chris:

"Hi LaShelle—I have been overtaken by some sort of flu things so no trips to the postal drop box today :-{ hopefully before the week’s out! Thanks for all your assistance—I’m sure it will be lovely
Kindest regards

We needed to halt the project, Chris needed to feel better. It took a couple of days and then he sent me the link to purchase the last element, the crucifix's beautiful Celtic crosses with a gorgeous red garnet stone in the middle of each one. Those were shipped right out and I had them on Wednesday, finished the rosaries, took pictures sent them via email to Chris and this was his response:

"Absolutely beautiful!" This was April 28th's email back to me. I didn't know it at the time but it was the last email I was ever to receive from Chris. I was happy that he was happy and since it was too late to send the rosaries out I had to wait until after work on Thursday. I sent the package out priority shipping 2-3 day. I had sent to New York before so I was almost positive it would only take a couple of days. I thought it might even get to him on Friday but for sure Saturday. I couldn't wait to get the next email, of Chris telling me he had received the package and that he was satisfied.

But sadly, I would never receive that anticipated email.

His sister, Marsha posted this on his wall on May 2:


"Mercy Street" was one of his first emails to me after a couple of days of emailing back and forth, working on the rosaries...

"Will work on this tomorrow. Worshipping the day away this afternoon. Heaven awaits!
Kindest regards,

I waited and checked my email all day Saturday for a message from him. I was so anxious to read his email because I wanted him to love them. Of course I already knew he did. Rest In Peace Chris. (we'll talk about the rosaries in heaven). All heaven is waiting for you, and I'll get to finally sing while you play the biggest organ you've ever seen!

Marsha (Chris's sister) & Chris

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Designs By LaShelle Facebook Fan Contest

Designs By LaShelle
is having a 100th fan contest!
Once Designs By LaShelle reaches 100 fans on Facebook
we will have a drawing for one fan's name. That fan will be able to choose
any custom designed pair of earrings or a necklace, even choose to have
a custom Bodacious Fairy Beauty. The winner and I will work together
to custom design just the right piece. They will also be able to choose
one other person to receive a custom designed piece made by me.
(both winners will have to be fans of Designs By LaShelle at the time of the drawing)
So the sooner we reach our first goal the sooner someone will win!

Etsy West Michigan Team has been a pretty terrfic bunch of crafters, jewelry makers, artisisians of all kinds making hand made items from their hearts. I belong to this team and I'd like to introduce you to some of them:

Here you will find an assortment of wonderful tags for just about any occassion!

Here you can find wonderful recycled baskets and gifts from Craftinator~Come down to Fulton

Street Artisian Market this year and see these

up close!

I've always enjoyed looking at this artisians items, her display is terrific! Come and see her at the Fulton Street ARTisian Market this summer too!

Who says there's a silver lining behind every dark cloud? I found a gold one.....................

Beginning again...letting the creativity flow to music...purple music....

A raindrop turns into pink sunshine......>

Thursday, January 28, 2010