LUCK OF THE IRISH–MARIELLE CELEBRATES HER 15TH LIVER TRANSPLANT ANNIVERSARY!!!

You look back on who you were fifteen years ago and wonder where you found the strength.  You see the mistakes of a young mother and understand the person you have become.  In celebration of Marielle’s 15th liver transplant anniversary on St. Patrick’s Day, I thought I’d share the letter I sent to her liver donor’s mom which I wrote 15 years ago…just 9 months after Marielle’s liver transplant.

Published December 1994; Re-edited March 2009.

Dear Special Mom:

I have spent many nights thinking about you and wondering how you are doing.  I was told that your daughter was a year old and that she had neurological problems.  The transplant coordinator told me your daughter had a severe stroke which left your little angel with no brain function.  I do know know if this information is true.  I do know that you made a decision to donate her liver and give my daughter a second chance at life. I will be forever grateful of your decision to let her live on in my daughter.  Here is our story:

Please Don’t Take My Sunshine Away

I have put off telling our story because it brings up a lot of pain and other unwelcome emotions. Those I thought were in our corner have disappointed us, while those who we never expected to, came through like never before. I used to wonder why we were chosen to face the impossible, but now am comforted with the answers I have found.

Our story begins on a rainy Friday morning in June of 1993. My husband, Ron, was present for the birth of our daughter, Marielle Lynnaire, by caesarean section. Marielle was put in a high risk nursery for a week, because of my pre-existing condition (Lupus).  Shortly thereafter, she was given a clean bill of health and we brought our little sunshine girl home.

 I look back and think how comical it was feeding Marielle a 6-ounce bottle every hour or so and changing more than 2 dozen diapers a day. My friends remarked, “You wanted a baby,” as if this was normal. I complained to her pediatrician on numerous occasions, but was treated like a nervous “new mom”. At one point I asked him why her stomach was so large. He remarked, “All babies have big stomachs.”

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At 10 weeks old, we christened Marielle. She was dressed in a bright white gown which made her complexion appear almost green. Within the next 24 hours, when she developed a bad cough, I took her to our local hospital where she was examined by an intern. He indicated that she indeed had a slight respiratory infection, but was more concerned with her severe jaundice. The intern ordered blood tests and insisted Marielle be admitted immediately. All the doctors were undecided about her diagnosis, but mentioned that in the worst case, she could have biliary atresia. I knew, at that moment, it would be bad news. You see, when Marielle was born with all of her limbs, I was so relieved, because I thought that my Lupus would deform her (although my doctor assured me it wouldn’t). My worst fears were now becoming real.

 After 9 days in our local hospital, I transferred Marielle to a children’s hospital in Pennsylvania where I heard a doctor had recently split a pair of Siamese twins who shared a liver. I was determined to get her the best care, no matter what, and this seemed like a good start. Once there, a Kasai procedure was performed and we learned the devastating truth about biliary atresia. Our surgeon told me to take one thing at a time, but I knew that I had to start planning for her transplant. We went home for a few days only to return to the hospital because of fevers.

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Marielle had developed ascites 2 weeks after her Kasai procedure. No one would tell me, but I knew that it was the beginning of the end. Marielle would spend most of the next 4 months at the children’s hospital. She had developed an infection in her liver which proved to be resistant to the strongest antibiotics. Our doctors agreed that a transplant might be the only way to rid her of this infection. In desperation, we flew Marielle to a mid-west hospital for a possible living-related transplant (they had done the first living-related liver transplant in the U.S.). Miraculously, her infection cleared en route to Chicago. Needless to say, we looked like fools. The doctors thought we were being a bit premature and suggested that we return in the Fall. They asked us to stay in the area so that they could provide a safety net, so we rented a furnished apartment (our hotel had no heat or hot water). At 35 degrees below zero, with a wind chill factor of 75 degrees below zero, it was the coldest winter in 14 years.

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A week later, Marielle developed bleeding varices. The attending doctor told me that there was nothing they could do unless Marielle experienced severe bleeding. This puzzled me, so I contacted all of our doctors back on the east coast. They advised me to bring her to the Chicago ER immediately. I rushed her there where the ER team attempted to draw blood with no success. They tried to draw blood from her broviac in her chest. Again, more failed attempts. They contacted the GI doctor on call. I was told that he would be to see us right away. Hours passed and no GI doctor. Finally, after 7 hours of waiting in the ER, I was told that the GI doctor was not in the hospital and would not see Marielle until the next day. My baby was screaming like never before. I had requested her special baby formula and a feeding pump. After 5 hours, the formula arrived, but there was no pump available. It was now 17 hours that Marielle had been without food. Knowing this and that a GI doctor would not see her, I knew I had to do something.

 At this point, I made the decision (against the ER doctor’s advice) to disconnect the broviac line and book a flight back to Pennsylvania. Once back at the apartment in Chicago, the phone calls began. The Chicago GI doctor on call apologized for the misunderstanding of hospital policies. He felt that Marielle was not in danger, but he would have a bed ready for her (so that we would not have to go to the ER again) if anything was to change.

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Later that evening, Marielle vomited her feeding tube. I immediately contacted the Chicago GI doctor and brought her back to the hospital. The next morning, my social worker (with whom I had only met once, briefly) informed me that she would be filing charges against me for removing Marielle from the hospital the prior evening. I knew that I needed to leave, because we could no longer work together. The next morning I was investigated by the state’s department of children’s services. The state workers seemed to be puzzled why accusations of medical neglect were filed since I had flown half-way across the country to save my daughter’s life. An assessment of my parenting skills was made and my choice for private home nursing for my daughter was made known (they frowned on that–instead wanted the mother to handle all care). I was labeled as “difficult,” because I wanted to see blood test results and review doctor’s notes. I was surprised to find that no other parents had requested this kind of information.

As soon as possible, we were back in Pennsylvania where Marielle was evaluated for cadaver transplantation. We returned home only to have her re-hospitalized. We were only back home 3 days when I received a beep on my pager. I joked with my nurse that it could only be one of two people; the pager company, because my husband forgot to pay my $12 monthly service fee, or our transplant coordinator. I looked down at the number and began to scream with joy. I could not dial the telephone fast enough. Our coordinator was calm and apologized for not seeing us during Marielle’s recent hospitalization. She said she wanted to make sure Marielle was doing well and that she was without fever. I assured her everything was fine and that I thought that a liver had become available when I received her beep. Our coordinator then told me that indeed a donor liver had been found for Marielle. I started to cry…I was just so happy.

We arrived at the hospital late that evening and said our prayers. Thoughts of losing Marielle became real for our family. This might be the last time we put our baby to sleep. The next morning was St. Patrick’s Day (March 17, 1994). It seemed like the perfect day. See, Marielle was named after her paternal Italian grandmother, Mary. The meaning of Marielle in Italian is Little Mary. We always joked that Marielle was green, because of her Irish decent on my side of the family. It was now the luck of the Irish that would help Marielle come through her transplant with flying colors. When our surgeon (who now practices law) removed her old liver, our coordinator brought my husband and me into a room to view the organ. There was not a pink spot on it. It was large and dark green with spots of black. Surely, no one expected her old liver to look this bad. During the surgery, all I could think about was the other mother…the mother who made the decision that her child should not die in vain…that another child could be saved with the gift of organ donation. To this day, I pray for this special mother.

While waiting for progress reports, we visited the gift shop where I came upon a funny looking blue stuffed elephant. I pulled his trunk and the melody, “You Are My Sunshine” played. This was the song I had sung to my daughter since she was born. I bought the elephant to comfort her when she returned from the operating room. This silly elephant was a sign for me that everything would be okay. Marielle’s transplant lasted only 6 hours. She did extremely well. Marielle’s maternal Irish grandmother even joked that all of her friends were calling my daughter , “Marielle O’Carroccio.”

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A few hours later, we were allowed to see her in the ICU. No one could have prepared me for the post-transplant days; the tubes and machines were overwhelming. I remember my father counting more than 17 tubes, IVs and other connections. Marielle tried to cry, but the artificial airway that was placed in her throat prevented us from being able to hear her. To hold her proved to be too painful for Marielle. My husband and I felt so helpless. A few days later, she was moved to the post-transplant unit where she went into rejection on the 7th day after receiving her new liver. The surgeon was waiting for me when I arrived at her room that evening. Her liver had clotted off and emergency surgery was performed in hopes of saving the graft. I had thought that we were on safe ground when the rug was pulled from underneath us. I didn’t know how much more Marielle could endure, but corrective surgery for portal vein thrombosis was successfully performed. A week or so later she had a mild bout of rejection and was treated with IV steroids. All seemed to be going well until the doctors became concerned with Marielle’s poor weight gain. It would be another month or so before this problem was resolved.

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Finally, on May 17th, 1994, exactly 2 months after her transplant, we began our trip home. My husband took Marielle in our car and I drove my father’s truck with all of our belongings. We were no more than 20 minutes from home when another driver hit my rear tire. This caused the truck to spin around and flip over more than 6 times. I knew I was going to be all right. I knew God would not take me away from Marielle. He knew that only I could give her the care she needed. It was my seat belt that saved my life, but I still spent a week in a trauma unit, because I sustained broken ribs, a fractured sternum, a punctured lung, and numerous other injuries. I was lucky to be alive.

Now, it is 8 months later and I know that I have been blessed. It is for this reason that I have dedicated myself to helping others in their journey. I now know why my husband and I were picked to be Marielle’s parents.

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This Christmas will be a very special one. Our family is together again.  Our journey has brought all of our family closer.   May you all have a special holiday season and healthy New Year.
Best Wishes,
Lisa Carroccio

(Note:  Names and places were omitted in original letter to donor’s mom to respect anonymity.)

(Side Note:  Notice pacifiers in many of the photos?  Marielle could have done that TV commercial where the mom is driving and the child drops the pacifier, so mom has to pull off the road to find it in the car to calm child…LOL!  She would have two pacifiers clipped to her shirt, a pacifier in each hand and another in her mouth.  Seriously.)

A Week of Celebration

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Originally we were hoping to have one of our big shindig with 200 people to celebrate Marielle’s 15th liver transplant anniversary.  But the truth is I just couldn’t get such a large party together in such a short time (our annual BBQ this Summer will have to suffice).  Anyway, we did celebrate by dining at Trattoria Romana.  I know–we spent St. Patrick’s Day at an Italian restaurant…LOL!  But it was where Marielle wanted to go, so we did.

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And since it’s all about friends when your 15 years old, Marielle and her crew got taken by limousine to The Palm in NYC tonight.

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Luckily our dear friend, Albino, will keep an eye on the girls so they don’t get into any trouble.

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And then they’ll continue the party tomorrow as all the girls are sleeping over.  Guess I’ll be getting lots of Hotcakes and Sausage from McDonald’s in the A.M.

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I’m feeling pity for the unfortunate limo driver who has to deal with all the girl chatter tonight.  Hope he brought earplugs with him!

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With friendship,

Lisa

Hitting the Ground Running…

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(Kidney Toy available from Tracy Beans)

Marielle and I returned home late yesterday afternoon from Philadelphia–just two weeks after her successful kidney transplant!  Woo hoo!

It is great to be home, but the reality of what’s ahead is daunting:

  • Twice weekly doctor appointments for the next 6 weeks and weekly appointments thereafter
  • Daily in-home nursing appointments for Marielle
  • Filling a zillion prescriptions
  • Christmas decorations that need to be put away
  • A sewing studio that looks like a bomb went off in it
  • Designing a quick Fall/Winter 2010 boys’ clothing line for buyers
  • Complying with the new CPSIA requirements
  • Manufacturing and shipping my Spring/Summer 2009 boys’ clothing line
  • Preparing for house painters
  • Planning a 15th Liver Transplant Anniversary for Marielle on St. Patrick’s Day for more than 200 people in my home.

Overwhelmed is an understatement.  Seriously.  So please be patient with me while I dig out from under all this insanity…

oh and did I mention my home is TRASHED!  Thanks Mr. Diva…great job.  Not.

lisa

What Are You Thankful For?

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After last year’s Thanksgiving disaster, this year we opted to go to our favorite restaurant, Italianissimo, to enjoy a yummy feast.  In addition to the standard Turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes, we enjoyed Italian appetizers galore ( grilled Portabello mushrooms, baked clams, grilled shrimp, carozza, baby scallops, eggplant rollatine, and stuffed mushrooms), penne and porcini mushrooms in a white sauce (it doesn’t get better than that) and then some of the most delicious desserts.

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Yes, I’m thankful for a great meal.  But it pales in comparison to the more important things this Thanksgiving:  family and friends.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking.  Sometimes I just think too much.  Not with worry..no.  More about how I’ve never doubted for one minute that we would find a way through these difficult times.

Often people ask me how I’m coping and I tell them, “fine.”  Yet they will ask me the same question repeatedly as if they expect me to be terribly depressed or something.  I’m just not.  See, all this hospital and transplant stuff is second nature to me.  I started this journey 15 years ago when my daughter was diagnosed with liver disease at 10 weeks old and was told she’d never live to see her 1st birthday.

And even back then, I never doubted I would find a way.  I’d sneak into the bio-medical library in Philadelphia in the early hours to read the latest liver transplant journals–learning everything I could to make the best decisions.  Sometimes I’d read for hours a day.  I connected with other people–both parents and medical professionals throughout the U.S. and abroad.

I even fought our insurance company to permit us to do a living-donor liver transplant.  My daughter was the first child in the U.S. to be approved through an HMO–not an easy feat.  Although we weren’t able to find a suitable donor back then, we opened the door for all those families who followed us giving them the option if they chose.

For 7 years, I headed a large pediatric liver foundation and volunteered my time to ensuring families received all necessary support and referrals to pediatric liver transplant centers.  Heck, I even got a little girl a free liver transplant and medication.

But then it all came to a screeching halt–in one short year, I attended more funerals of children who died from liver disease and/or transplant than one should in their lifetime.  I just couldn’t do it anymore.  I couldn’t tell another new parent that everything would be ok.  I felt like I was lying to them.  And it was at that point that I closed the door to that chapter of my life.

Those doors have swung back open again and I need to take my daughter through another type of transplant.  Although kidney transplant is new to me, transplant is not.  Yes, I’ve had to learn new things, but none of it do I fear.  I use my head and not my heart as I make these difficult decisions.  And hopefully, my choices will get my daughter through this.

What am I thankful for?  I’m thankful I am ME even if I at times have false courage and unrealistic optimism.  I forge ahead knowing I have the tenacity and determination to see this through.  I am thankful that it’s 15 years later and many medical breakthroughs have occurred since then.  But like I said, I’m most thankful I am surrounded by wonderful family and friends.  Because without people, what would we have to live for?

Oh and I’m thankful we are home from the hospital and I can sneak out at 5am tomorrow morning to catch some of the Black Friday sales–especially at Joann’s Fabrics.  And Best Buy.  And Macy’s.  Etc.

Wishing everyone a blessed Thanksgiving!

lisa

P.S. – sorry to the poor photos…someone had messed with my camera settings.

Sew Hoping for a Miracle

PLEASE SEE MOST RECENT UPDATE:

>>>>>>>>CLICK HERE<<<<<<<<<<

ambulence

On Thursday night, we had to call an ambulance to get Marielle to the local emergency room as her condition was deteriorating quickly.

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Marielle’s kidney blood numbers were climbing fast.  Her creatinine was 10 (normal creatinine is 0.5 to 1.1), and her BUN  was 119 (normal BUN is 8-20).  Surgeons where called to place a tunneled catheter in her chest and start emergency dialysis.

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After her 2nd dialysis treatment on Saturday, she got some color back in her face.  She passed the time by reading a book on my Kindle book reader.

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However, she was just too weak to finish more than a chapter of George Orwell’s 1984.  She easily fell asleep for the rest of her dialysis treatment.

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Although we were able to get her kidney numbers down a bit, her blood pressure (178/107) continues to be a major problem.  This morning her blood pressure is even higher and they’ve started rescue blood pressure medicine to try to lower it.

Marielle will be hospitalized here in Staten Island until Monday night and then have her kidney transplant evaluation at NY Presbyterian-Columbia University on Tuesday morning if we can stabilize her.  She will get to come home between Monday night and Tuesday morning.  Not sure what will happen after that.  If we can stabilize her, she’s be able to get outpatient dialysis until we can find her a kidney donor.

If you are interested in being tested to see if you are a possible match for a living kidney donor, you can find more information on my previous blog post.  I can’t tell you how grateful I am for all the outpouring of support and prayers.  I wish I could reply to each and every email, but my time on the computer is very limited.  Please know I read each post and email and am touched by all the love from friends and strangers.

I will update everyone as soon as I can.

lisa

Sew Urgent – Help Save My Daughter’s Life

PLEASE SEE MOST RECENT UPDATE:

>>>>>>>>CLICK HERE<<<<<<<<<<

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Things continue to be difficult.  But where there is life, there is hope. 

I’m forcing myself to blog so I can update all my dear friends and family about what is going on with my sweet Sunshine Girl, Marielle, as her kidneys fail.  It looks like we are on the way to the local emergency room again tonight–she’s in terrible pain and a bit lethargic.

After continued difficultly getting calls returned and kidney donor evaluation packages send to those who have come forward to donate their kidneys, we’ve given up on the Philadelphia hospital of ever finding a living kidney donor.  They’ve recently told us they will only test family members and the closest of friends.  They’ve taken it upon themselves to decide who our friends are.  Philadelphia has only tested 3 donors in 4 months.  To say I am furious is an understatement.

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But there is hope.  We are in the process of transferring Marielle’s care to NY Presbyterian-Columbia University Hospital (NYP) in hopes their additional living-donor kidney programs will save her life.  Not only will NYP consider family members as donors, but are willing to evaluate EVERYONE (friends, associates and kind strangers) who wants to donate a kidney.  That’s right…EVERYONE regardless of blood type, antibody mismatch, age, etc.  They offer several kidney donor options for us:

Compatible Living Donor

Incompatible Donor Program

Paired Donor Exchange Program

Deceased Donor Program

Marielle will only match 1 in 50 people in the general population (average person matches 1 in 2). I  am asking EVERYONE who has ever loved a child as deeply as I do my daughter to please consider being a living-kidney donor to her. You might be the one who can save my daughter’s life.

If you would like to receive a donor consent form to see if you could be a potential donor, please print out this form:

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Then send it to Joan Kelly either by email at kellyja@nyp.org or fax (212) 305-9642.  Be sure to put MARIELLE CARROCCIO as the Potential Recipient’s Name.

Please pass this information along to anyone and everyone.

I continue to be comforted by the tremendous amount of love and support from all of you.  Thank you seems to fall short.

lisasiggie

Sew…I is for Internet Sewing Web Sites

Back to the Encyclopedia of ME…we’re up to letter I…

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Besides all the sewing blogs listed on my sidebar, thought I’d suggest a few others.  If you haven’t check out the new Sewing.org web site, I suggest you do!

After the Home Sewing Association (creators of sewing.org) closed their doors on December 31, 2007, we thought all was lost.  But guess what?  Sewing.org is now a part of the Sewing & Craft Alliance (SCA)! SCA provides education and creative resources to the sewing and craft enthusiast. You can visit their complete line-up of web sites at:

National Sewing Month

Trained Sewing Instructor

Sew Trendy

Sewing Events

Got Sewing

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Be sure to sign-up for their monthly newsletter. (can’t get their link for the newsletter to work…sorry!)   Happy Sewing!

AURORA

Oh and don’t forget to check out my FREE CANDY GIVEAWAY!

lisasiggie

I is for Insanely Busy

I’ve been busy preparing my past season samples to send to the ENK Children’s Club Selection Committee.  ENK requests designers/manufacturers send them 4 to 6 clothing samples to determine if you’re a good fit for their show.  I’d imagine not everyone gets into the show.  However, I’m confident that I’ll be accepted to show my line (or be devastated if I didn’t make the cut).  It’s been 2 years in the making.  But it’s done (after an hour trying to figure out DHL online using Mr. Diva’s account as his secretary was out sick).

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My fit samples (based on my first patterns) arrived this week and I am jumping up and down like I hit the lottery!  Seriously.  This whole clothing line is finally feeling real REAL.  I’ve heard many times that your fit samples are never right the first time, but honestly they are “on the money.”  The only thing that needs to be changed is a pocket one of the woven shirts and add an inch to the hemline of my raglan t-shirt.  Once these changes are made, they’ll be ready to sent to the  pattern grader/marker.

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Here’s a link which might be helpful to those needed a pattern maker:

How to Select and Work with a Patternmaker

Now normally, you wouldn’t have your patterns graded until after sales.  You’d grade your patterns based on the sizes sold just prior to production (in my case, that would be AFTER the trade show).  However, my sample size is 4T and yet my models are size 6.  So in order to ensure a great fit for photos, I’ll have them graded one size up (I’m not doing a size 5).

I’ve also been working with my graphic designer to come up with at least 16 different t-shirt graphics.  Hours and hours have been spent preparing my preliminary line sheets and merchandising documents.  I’ve had to come up with ideas for 16 different t-shirts and now Ingrid will design them as she rocks when it comes to graphics.  Most of them with have text (funny sayings such as “It seemed like a good idea at the time”).  I can’t wait to see what she comes up with.  Some will be vinyl while others will be applique and embroidery.

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My Downtown Joey jeans snaps arrived from China/Hong Kong on Saturday morning.  They are perfect!  I can’t wait to attach them to my samples!

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This afternoon I attended my buddy, Diana’s, Bridal Shower at the Staten Island Hilton .  She’s my friend who owns the Bagel Store…you know the one who made the Caramel Apples for the BBQ?  Being that I have several embroidery machines, I always try to give a gift I can monogram or embellish.  So anyway, I sat down in my sewing room last night and was about to start designing her monogram until I realized I had a little problem.  See, her fiance’s name is Anthony, her name starts with a “D” and their married name starts with a “D.”  See the problem?  A.D.D.  I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.  No matter how I do it, it still spells A.D.D.  So I reluctantly gave her the gift without embroidery.  I’ll ask her what she thinks.

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Diana is crazy about pasta.  So for her Wishing Well, I gave her some pastel colored bow-tie pasta and of course, one of my magic wands.  You never know when you’ll need a magic wand especially when you get married.

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My E-bay friends (The Social Graces and friends of the Boutique Designers’ Board) surprised me with a box full of handmade sugar cookies!  There were Diva, Mr. Diva, Marielle, Joey, NYC and E-Bay cookies!  How sweet!  My friends are the best!

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Off to get a big glass of milk to go with my cookies!

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Sew…H is for Hanging On By a Thread

Hanging On By a Thread

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Just approved the production of my custom metal snap closures for the boys’ jeans.  Like it?  It’s actually a bit darker in person as the flash photography lightened it.  I’m pretty happy with them!  They should arrive from Hong Kong within the next 4 weeks.

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I still need to decide which lighted key chains I’m going to be using.  Also need to order matte silver long-pronged snaps for my dress shirts.

My pattern maker received my sketches, fabric and assorted notions.  She told me I could expect them back by August 18th.  Yes, I’m cutting it close.  Very close.  My pattern maker is doing 6 different patterns.  I adore my pattern maker and have full confidence in her ability.

Once I approve my fit samples she makes, I’ll have to have a sample maker  make my salesman’s samples.  Oh wait…first I need to find a sample maker.  I do have a few contacts in NYC to check out.  Better call them next week and see if they can work within my timeframe.  I need to figure out how many salesman’s samples I need.  I have 3 models sized 6 months, 5 years and 6 years for my photos.  I’ll also need several size 5 years for my 7 mannequins and another 2 for my size 12 month mannequins.  These salesman’s samples will be used to take orders at the upcoming trade show.  Guess I had better book the trade show booth, right?  But I still haven’t send in my older samples for approval by the trade show.  I’ll do that after the BBQ when I can think straight.  Let’s hope I can get a decent location at the trade show.  Keeping fingers crossed.

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I also need to have several graphics created for my knit t-shirts.  I’m thinking a NYC skyline or something like that.  Oh and then, I’ll need to find a screen printer…easy enough.  At least, I hope!

Honestly, I am frazzled.  Too much going on within a short time period.  My big BBQ is less than a week away and I have tons of things to do, buy, plan, etc.  We’re expecting between 130 – 150 people.  Oh my.  Like the logo my e-Bay friends made below?  LOL!

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But most importantly, my daughter’s kidneys are in very bad shape.  We just got home last night from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia after a 5 day stay and she is now officially listed for a new kidney.  It could come the day of the BBQ at any time.  Really.  Thank you for all your continued support and prayers.

I feel like a million things are coming at me at once and I just want to hide.  Seriously.

I just finished cleaning up dinner–Mr. Diva™ had the bright idea to invite 9 of my daughter’s friends over for Shrimp Scampi and Shrimp Marinara.  My kitchen is trashed.  And to make matters worse, my son invited a few of the neighbor kids over to play video games.  Lovely.  I can’t wait till they go home!

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Unfortunately, I’m now only counting 13 of the 19 koi fish in my pond.  I found the top two pictured fish on the right cut in half.  Apparently, the great white Heron bird can back for a snack while I was away.  I was most upset about my prized 12 inch butterfly koi fish who had the most unique markings…red behind the gills.  This just sucks!  Oh and one of the two blue koi are missing, too!

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Tomorrow morning I’m embroidering some tote bags which are due the first week of August.  But first I’ll need to clear off all the new fabric so I have some room to work on my cutting table tonight…LOL!

With friendship,

Lisa

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Sew…G is for Getting Great Embroidery Gadgets, Google Mapping and Gorgeous Fabric

Edit…My Sunshine Girl is not feeling well.  Her blood pressure readings have been way too high and she’s in a lot of pain, so the doctors are admitting her in Philadelphia Children’s Hospital once again.  Say a prayer quick.

Great Gadget

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How ingenious is this Tee Square It for perfect embroidery and silk screening placement?  I so badly need one of these right now as I start my 17 embroidered tote bags for Kacey of Doodle Bugs Paper.  There’s a How To Use the Tee Square It instruction page and even some videos!  But buy it from my friend, Hot Fix Suzy™ (1st link)–it’s cheaper…oh, and she has the best prices of hot fix crystals!

Google Mapping

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Speaking of friends, lots of people have asked for directions to the big BBQ, local hotels and other note worthy sites in NYC.  My partner in crime, Lady M™ of Fabric Hound, put together this Google Map for us:

The Diva BBQ and other Attractions in NYC

Gorgeous Fabrics

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Here’s a sneak peek at Patty Young’s new fabric line for Michael Miller.  OMG…it’s AWESOME!  Way to go Patty!  Head over to her Mod Kid Boutique blog for more yummy pictures.

With friendship,

Lisa

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Sew…E is for

Exhaling

But just for a moment.  I was finally able to get my sketches, fabrics and inputs packed up in a box to be sent out to my pattern maker this afternoon.  When hiring a pattern maker, you need to send them:

  • Front and back sketches of your designs
  • Plenty of fabric
  • Lining fabric
  • Buttons
  • Zippers
  • Specialty Thread (if necessary)
  • Interfacing
  • Elastic
  • Piping, Bias or other Trims
  • Hardware (d-rings and other such components)
  • Sample garment (if you have one)
  • A deposit towards their fee…LOL

cuttingcloth

My pattern maker’s work should arrive back to me within 2 to 3 weeks.  At that point, I’ll take my fit samples and patterns to a sample maker to have my salesmen’s samples made for the upcoming ENK Children’s Club show.

Oh and guess what I did this morning?  My first wire transfer!!!  I had to send money to a custom metal snap manufacturer in Hong Kong.  Talk about a language barrier…ugh!  I’ve spent no less than 2 months trying to place this order.  The good thing is I ordered 10,000 jeans’ snaps, so it will be years before I need to order them again…LOL!  Here’s my approved artwork for the jeans’ snap:

080710-LISA-001OC

Speaking of exhaling, I was at the dentist yesterday to have a cap re-glued.  And all I could think about was INHALING sweet air (aka nitric oxide).  How sad is that?  See when I had all my caps done last year, I actually looked forward to all the sweet air.  Sweet air equals no physical pain in my joints and bones.  Pure bliss.  Too bad, they said I couldn’t have any yesterday…drats!  I thought for sure it was going to be my lucky day–the sweet air addict I am!

lisasiggie

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