You Know Your Symptoms the Best!

October 4, 2013 at 5:56 pm | Posted in 2013, Abilify, Abilify Maintena, Anti-anxiety meds, Anti-depressants, Anti-psychotics, Anxiety, Anxiety Attacks, Bipolar, Borderline Personality, BPD, Brain, Bulimia, Compulsive Eating, Compulsive Exercising, DBT, Depression, Eating Disorders, EDNOS, Education, Haldol, Haldol DEC, Haldol Decanoate, Happy, Health, Injections, Kristin Bell, Lithium, long-acting injectables, Mania, Manic, Manic-Depressive, Mental Health, Mental Illness, Mood Stabilizers, negative symptoms, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, ocd, Paranoid Schizophrenia, Prescription Meds, Psych Meds, Psychiatrist, Psychiatry, Psychiatry Denial, Psycho, Psychoactive Substances, psychoanalysis, Psychology, Psychosis, schizoaffective disorder, Schizophrenia, self-care, Self-Harm, Self-Injury, stigma, Stress, Support System, symptoms, treatment, Zoloft, Zyprexa | Leave a comment

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Recently I made a medication change (with the help of my psychiatrist), and as you might know from your own interactions with meds sometimes it can cause issues to develop. I was happily strolling along for a couple of months with a few bad days here and there, and then I started to notice the bad days piling up more often. I was really irritable, sad, became unmotivated, and suicide starting sounding better. I became alarmed, because I knew something was going wrong, but how was I supposed to explain to my psychiatrist that “irritable” is a symptom for me?

The problem with mental illness is that even when we fit into a diagnosed category of disorder, we all have our own unique symptoms that we need to pay attention to. I have schizophrenia, but for years I didn’t appear “sick enough” to most doctors, because they expected me to be talking to the walls and completely disheveled. There were times when I was talking to the walls and completely disheveled, but the doctors rarely saw me during those times, so they figured I wasn’t that bad off. Because I could communicate relatively well most doctors dismissed schizophrenia as a diagnosis.

Over the years I have come to realize what my symptoms are (for the most part), and now that I am doing better I can advocate for myself more effectively. However, it still isn’t easy to call up my psychiatrist and say “wow, I’m extremely irritable, this isn’t normal for me, and I need to increase my meds.” Most psychiatrists won’t believe that “irritable” is in any way related to schizophrenia, but for me (and many others) it is. I don’t become psychotic over night, and I don’t believe that I should have to be talking to walls in order to get the help I need. I also don’t believe that people should have to try to kill themselves before mental health professionals take people seriously.

Unfortunately, a lot of mental health professionals won’t take a person seriously unless they are debilitated to the point of needing to be hospitalized. So, as people living with mental illness or people who love people with mental illness, we have to be very proactive about getting the help we need before it turns into a crisis. Think about the good days and what you are like on those days, and compare them to the bad days. What are YOUR symptoms? How do things manifest in your day to day life? You might want to write down what you know your symptoms to be, and take that list with you when you talk to your doctor. It isn’t easy or fun, but we have to advocate for ourselves even when we are not doing our best.

In the end, you know your symptoms the best. Remember that you aren’t “crazy” for wanting to feel better and you aren’t making up excuses. Be pragmatic and straightforward, and get the help you need.

Karaoke Ani Difranco’s Hypnotized

August 27, 2013 at 3:28 am | Posted in 2013, Ani Difranco, Hypnotized, Karaoke, Kristin Bell, Music, Music Video, Singing, Song, songs | Leave a comment

Update on Abilify Maintena Use!

July 22, 2013 at 3:52 pm | Posted in 2013, Abilify, Abilify Maintena, Bipolar, crazy, drugs, Haldol, Haldol DEC, Haldol Decanoate, insanity, Kristin Bell, long-acting injectables, Medicine, Mental Health, Mental Illness, negative symptoms, Paranoid Schizophrenia, Prescription Meds, Psych Meds, Psychiatrist, Psychiatry, Psychiatry Denial, Psycho, Psychoactive Substances, Psychology, Psychosis, schizoaffective disorder, Schizophrenia, Science, symptoms, treatment, treatment-resistant | Leave a comment

Spoonflower Now Has Giftwrap!

May 27, 2013 at 5:39 pm | Posted in 2013, Animals, Art, artist, arts & crafts, Cat Leap, Cats, Children, circles, Colorful, craft, creative, Cute, design, design your own fabric, dots, drawings, for sale, gift wrap, green, Happy, Illustrated, iPad Art, Kawaii, Kitties, Kitty, Kristin Bell, Panda, panda bear, paper, spoonflower, stripes, unique wrapping paper, wrapping paper | Leave a comment

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In addition to wall decals, fabric, and wallpaper, Spoonflower.com now has gift wrap! I got two of my designs in the gift wrap. The first is the panda in circles, and the second is the small kitties playing! I LOVE the gift wrap! It is so much fun! Check it out if you get a chance and create your own too! :)

Hello Abilify Maintena!

May 24, 2013 at 9:45 pm | Posted in 2013, Abilify, Abilify Maintena, Anti-psychotics, Chemistry, drugs, extended release, Haldol, Haldol DEC, Haldol Decanoate, Health, Injections, Kristin Bell, long-acting injectables, Mental Health, Mental Illness, negative symptoms, neuroscience, neurotransmitters, Paranoid Schizophrenia, Prescription Meds, Psych Meds, Psychiatrist, Psychiatry, Psychiatry Denial, Psycho, Psychoactive Substances, psychoanalysis, Psychology, Psychosis, Risperdal, schizoaffective disorder, Schizophrenia, Seroquel, stigma, symptoms, Trazadone, treatment, treatment-resistant, Trilifon, Zyprexa | Leave a comment

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Some of you may remember that I have been getting Haldol Decanoate injections for the past 13 years or so in order to keep my schizophrenia in check. I wrote about it here: https://kristinbell.org/2012/06/14/the-haldol-injections-after-10-years/. Recently Abilify Maintena, the long-acting injectable form of Abilify came onto the market. After discussing it with my doctor, we decided to give it a try. I have been taking the oral form of Abilify along with the Haldol Dec injections for about two or three years with no adverse side effects, and it has really improved my functioning as well. The long term risks of side effects like tardive dyskinesia are much higher with the Haldol than with the Abilify which is one reason why we decided to switch. Abilify also has fewer metabolic side effects (things like less weight gain are associated with Abilify). We are taking a giant leap into the great unknown. I got my first injection of the Abilify tonight. It comes in an injection kit with sterile water that must be mixed with the powder Abilify and then injected. The Haldol is an oil-based mixture that is also injected. I am hoping to also have less sedation side effects from the Abilify. I’m just crossing my fingers that all will go well. I will keep you all updated as time passes. It is also interesting to note that Abilify Maintena has been approved for much longer in many other countries, but it just became available in the US. The US also lags behind many European countries in the administration of injectable forms of antipsychotics. Personally, I think that all people with chronic schizophrenia should give injectable antipsychotics a try. The injections don’t hurt and it is much easier to manage than oral medications. I’m including some pics of what my injection kit looks like too. It looks complicated, but it really only took about 4-5 minutes to administer including reading the directions! I’m saying Hello to Abilify Maintena and goodbye to my old friend Haldol Decanoate!

Schizophrenia and Negative Symptoms: Q&A with Dr. Potkin

May 20, 2013 at 7:48 pm | Posted in 2013, Abilify, affective flattening, alogia, Anti-anxiety meds, Anti-depressants, Anti-psychotics, asociality, avolition, Biology, Bipolar, Brain, Depakote, Depression, dopamine hypothesis, Dr. Steven G. Potkin, drugs, Education, Genentech, Geodon, Haldol, Haldol DEC, Haldol Decanoate, Health, insanity, Irvine (UCI), Kristin Bell, Lithium, Mania, Manic, Medicine, Mental Health, Mental Illness, Mood Stabilizers, N-methyl-D-aspartate, NAMI, negative symptoms, neuron, neuroscience, neurotransmitters, NMDA, NMDA receptor hypofunction hypothesis, Paranoid Schizophrenia, Paxil, Prescription Meds, Psych Meds, Psychiatrist, Psychiatry, Psychiatry Denial, Psycho, Psychoactive Substances, psychoanalysis, Psychology, Psychosis, Risperdal, schizoaffective disorder, Schizophrenia, Science, Seroquel, stigma, Support System, Surviving, symptoms, synapse, sz, Therapist, Trazadone, treatment, treatment-resistant, Trilifon, Wellbutrin, Zoloft, Zyprexa | Leave a comment

negsymp I have some great news! I was able to ask Dr. Steven G. Potkin, Professor of Psychiatry in the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at the University of California, Irvine (UCI) Medical Center, some questions regarding the negative symptoms of schizophrenia. He is also the Robert R. Sprague Endowed Chair in Brain Imaging. It was a brief, by email interview, but I’m happy to share what I’ve learned with you all! The following is the Q&A:

Kristin: What are negative symptoms?
Dr. Potkin: “Negative” does not refer to a person’s attitude, but instead to a lack of characteristics that should be present. Symptoms include reduced amount and content of speech, even when encouraged to interact (alogia), lack of emotional and facial expression (affective flattening), diminished ability to begin and sustain activities (avolition), decreased ability to find pleasure in everyday life (anhedonia) and social withdrawal (asociality). [1] [2]

Negative symptoms can appear a few years before other symptoms appear in young adulthood in the so-called “prodromal” stage of the illness.[3] Unfortunately these symptoms often go undetected because they manifest themselves as issues common among teenagers: social withdrawal, problems with school work, irritability, depression and sleeping problems.[4]

Kristin: Do all people with schizophrenia have negative symptoms?
Dr. Potkin: No, but at any point in time, negative symptoms can affect approximately 50 percent or more of people with schizophrenia.[5] [6]

Kristin: How do negative symptoms affect a person with schizophrenia? How do they affect their family and friends?
Dr. Potkin: Research suggests that for people living with schizophrenia, negative symptoms are key factors in poor quality of life as well as problems with personal hygiene, school and work performance, maintaining relationships, interacting within the community, and participating in social activities. [7] [8] [9] [10]

For caregivers of people with schizophrenia, negative symptoms may cause more burden than do other types of symptoms as they see their loved ones life isolated and lacking in meaning or joy. [11]

Kristin: How are negative symptoms currently treated?
Dr. Potkin: Current treatments for schizophrenia focus on reducing characteristic symptoms and can include both medication and psychosocial interventions.[12] No effective medication treatment has yet been approved for specific treatment of negative symptoms. Despite progress in the medication side of treatment, there are still unmet needs in terms of symptom control. A large study found that despite treatment, approximately 57 percent of people receiving treatment for a schizophrenia spectrum disorder still had at least one negative symptom.[10]

Kristin: What is the research that Genentech is doing regarding negative symptoms?
Dr. Potkin: Researchers at Genentech are pursuing new treatment strategies for schizophrenia, including increasing N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor activity in the brain in order to target the mechanism that may be a common link between the positive, negative and cognitive symptoms of the disorder.[7] [9] [11] [12]

Specifically, through a clinical trial program, Genentech is looking at an investigational medication for people with schizophrenia, including people who experience mostly negative symptoms of schizophrenia, despite taking medication. For more information, please visit www.SearchLyteschizophrenia.com

Kristin: How can family and friends of someone with schizophrenia help someone with negative symptoms?
Dr. Potkin: Caregivers can talk to doctors about interventions including medication, psychosocial rehabilitation (work, school, relationships), medical care and wellness, and therapy (e.g. cognitive behavioral therapy and peer support groups), as well as ongoing clinical trials.[13] They can work with physicians to find the medications and non-medicine therapies that are right for their loved one. Different medicines may have different side effects. Caregivers can also consider programs from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) including:

• NAMI Hearts and Minds

– Online, interactive wellness initiative

www.nami.org/heartsandminds

• NAMI Peer-to-Peer

– Free, 9-week educational course on recovery

www.nami.org/peertopeer

• NAMI Connection

– Recovery support group for adults

www.nami.org/connection

Kristin: Do scientists know the biological mechanisms involved in negative symptoms? If so, what are the areas of the brain and/or mechanisms involved in negative symptoms?
Dr. Potkin: In the 1970s, the “dopamine hypothesis” of schizophrenia emerged, suggesting the biological basis of schizophrenia was an excess of signaling by dopamine, a chemical messenger in the brain. This theory, however, could not explain negative or cognitive symptoms.[6] In the late 1980’s a newer theory suggested positive, negative and cognitive symptoms could all be due to reduced function of NMDA receptors in the brain. This theory is now known as the “NMDA receptor hypofunction hypothesis.”[6] [7] [8] [9]

Researchers are pursuing new treatment strategies for schizophrenia, including increasing NMDA receptor function in the brain in order to target the mechanism that may be a common link between the positive, negative and cognitive symptoms of the disorder.[7] [9] [11] [12] It is thought that NMDA receptor activity is an important pathway in psychiatric disorders, especially schizophrenia.

End of article.

*Note: I would like to thank Dr. Potkin for helping me put together this interview. This research is very exciting and I hope that negative symptoms can be tackled in this decade! I know how debilitating they can be!

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1.     Gard DE, Kring AM, Gard MG, Horan WP, Green MF. Anhedonia in schizophrenia: distinctions between anticipatory and consummatory pleasure. Schizophr Res. Jul 2007;93(1-3):253-260.

2.     Strauss GP, Gold JM. A new perspective on anhedonia in schizophrenia. Am J Psychiatry. Apr 2012;169(4):364-373.

3.     Stahl SM. Stahl’s Essential Psychopharacology: Neuroscientific Basis and Practical Applications. 3rd ed. New York: Cambridge University Press; 2008.

4.     National Institute of Mental Health. Schizophrenia. 2009; http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/schizophrenia/complete-index.shtml. Accessed July 7, 2012.

5.     Kirkpatrick B, Fenton WS, Carpenter WT, Jr., Marder SR. The NIMH-MATRICS consensus statement on negative symptoms. Schizophr Bull. Apr 2006;32(2):214-219.

6.     Bobes J, Arango C, Garcia-Garcia M, Rejas J. Prevalence of negative symptoms in outpatients with schizophrenia spectrum disorders treated with antipsychotics in routine clinical practice: findings from the CLAMORS study. J Clin Psychiatry. Mar 2010;71(3):280-286.

7.     Ho BC, Nopoulos P, Flaum M, Arndt S, Andreasen NC. Two-year outcome in first-episode schizophrenia: predictive value of symptoms for quality of life. Am J Psychiatry. Sep 1998;155(9):1196-1201.

8.     Kirkpatrick B, Fenton WS, Carpenter WT, Jr., Marder SR. The NIMH-MATRICS consensus statement on negative symptoms. Schizophr Bull. Apr 2006;32(2):214-219.

9.     Kurtz MM. Symptoms versus neurocognitive skills as correlates of everyday functioning in severe mental illness. Expert Rev Neurother. Jan 2006;6(1):47-56.

10.   Milev P, Ho BC, Arndt S, Andreasen NC. Predictive values of neurocognition and negative symptoms on functional outcome in schizophrenia: a longitudinal first-episode study with 7-year follow-up. Am J Psychiatry. Mar 2005;162(3):495-506.

11.   Provencher HL, Mueser KT. Positive and negative symptom behaviors and caregiver burden in the relatives of persons with schizophrenia. Schizophr Res. Jul 25 1997;26(1):71-80.

12.   National Institute of Mental Health. Schizophrenia. 2009; http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/schizophrenia/complete-index.shtml. Accessed July 7, 2012.

13.   National Institute of Mental Health. Schizophrenia. 2009; http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/schizophrenia/complete-index.shtml. Accessed July 7, 2012.

Unica Zürn, Hans Bellmer Presentation

March 10, 2013 at 8:02 pm | Posted in 2013, Academic, anagrams, analysis, Art, art history, artist, artists, Bipolar, bondage, College, death drive, drawings, female, fetish, Freud, Hans Bellmer, History, Homosexual, Kristin Bell, Manic-Depressive, Mental Health, Mental Illness, obsession, outsider art, Photography, presentation, psychoanalysis, Psychology, repression, schizoaffective disorder, Schizophrenia, school, Surrealism, Surrealist, Unica Zürn, University, Video, YouTube | Leave a comment

Zoey’s New Bow Tie!

March 6, 2013 at 9:41 pm | Posted in 2013, bow tie, Cat Break, Cat Stories, Cats, Fashion, Happy, Kitties, Kitty, Kristin Bell, Oregon, Pink, Portland, Sweet Pickles Designs | Leave a comment

Just got this bow tie for my kitty Zoey from my favorite cat shoppe, Sweet Pickles Design. Check out their new website here: http://www.sweetpicklesdesigns.com/

Pickles is the cat that inspired the creation of the company. What’s even better is that they are based in my own area—Portland, Oregon! Yay for Sweet Pickles!

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The Pink Brigade!

February 12, 2013 at 12:41 am | Posted in 2013, Art, artist, arts & crafts, Cats, craft, cuddle, Cute, dolls, fabric, Handmade, Happy, hearts, Hello Kitty, Kawaii, Kids, Kitties, Kitty, Kristin Bell, pig, piggy, pillow, Pink, plushies | 2 Comments

More handmade dolls, made by me! :) I made these for a cute little girl who going through a tough transition time right now. :) They have different coordinating fabrics on the back. :) This time I experimented with using little pre-made ribbon flowers instead of all bows. I think it looks great! :) What do you think?

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Gnome Skirt I Made! First Ever Skirt I’ve Sewn!

February 6, 2013 at 1:06 pm | Posted in 2013, Clothes, clothing, craft, creative, Cute, Extended Plus Size, fabric, Fashion, Fat, Fat Acceptance, gnome, Handmade, hobby, Kristin Bell, Plus Size, scarf, sewing, sewn, skirt | 2 Comments

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I made this skirt from scratch! My first ever! Not so fashionable for some people, but I think it is funny and cute! hehe The front has gnomes in white and the back has gnomes in green. Along the bottom are little checkered bows. :) I just sort of eyeballed the whole thing, so I was really nervous it wouldn’t work or fit, but it did! Yay! :) I did make the matching scarf a few weeks ago before I decided to make the skirt. :)

More Free EBooks!

February 6, 2013 at 12:52 pm | Posted in 2013, Books, Christmas, Cooking, eBook, Free, Gina Meyers, Harry Potter, Jonathan Gottschall, Kristin Bell, Libboo, The Storytelling Animal, Unofficial Harry Potter Happy Christmas Cookbook | Leave a comment

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Here are two more links for free ebooks through libbo. If the links don’t work, then they have expired or someone else has already claimed the free ebooks! Otherwise, first come first serve! Up for grabs: Harry Potter Unofficial Happy Christmas Cookbook and The Storytelling Animal. I have read the Storytelling Animal and it was pretty interesting.

For the Storytelling Animal: https://www.libboo.com/freebies/ef103b22-6e96-11e2-ac2f-1231391c65c1

For the Unofficial Harry Potter Christmas Cookbook: https://www.libboo.com/freebies/ef0e9574-6e96-11e2-ac2f-1231391c65c1

Thirsty Kitty! Meow!

February 3, 2013 at 1:18 am | Posted in 2013, AVPPet, Cat Break, Cat Stories, Cats, Cute, drinking, drinking fountain, feline, Happy, Kitties, Kitty, Kristin Bell, Pet Care, pet supplies, Pets, thirsty | Leave a comment

Hello Kitty in Space! Yay!

January 30, 2013 at 11:31 pm | Posted in 2013, Astronauts, atmosphere, Cute, flight, Hello Kitty, Kawaii, kittynaut, Kristin Bell, Space | Leave a comment

Free EBook Through Libboo!

January 23, 2013 at 10:27 pm | Posted in 2013, Books, eBook, Free, History, Jack Rakove, Kristin Bell, Libboo, Revolutionaries | Leave a comment

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Hey Everybody! I have a free ebook to give away through this neat new program called Libboo! First person to claim the book gets the ebook for free. :) Here is the link: https://www.libboo.com/freebies/88f153f4-6396-11e2-ac2f-1231391c65c1  Looks like the code expired or someone claimed it! Hopefully more books later.

Love Your Peaches Dress Came Today!

January 14, 2013 at 4:35 pm | Posted in 1XL, 2013, 2XL, 3XL, 4XL, 5XL, 6XL, Body, chubby, Clothes, clothing, Dress, Fashion, Fat, Fat Acceptance, for sale, Grrls/Women, Kristin Bell, Love Your Peaches, modeling, Plus Size, Shopping, Supersize | 6 Comments

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I love my new “Love Your Peaches” dress! I love the store. I can’t always afford it, but I got this on sale. Yippee! She carries sizes 1x to 6x and can make slight alterations to the clothing to fit your needs! :) Here’s the link: http://www.loveyourpeaches.com/ . If you get the chance, feel free to support her small business. She does a wonderful job and I hope she keeps making clothes for us chubb-chubbs! :) UPDATED: Thought I should add a photo with a close-up of the fabric. It is pretty cute fabric I think! :)

Lots of New Kitties!

January 5, 2013 at 11:22 pm | Posted in 2012, 2013, Animals, Art, artist, arts & crafts, Birds, Books, Color, Colorful, cozy, craft, Cute, design, dolls, dots, fabric, feathers, feline, Friends, Fun, green, Handmade, Happy, hearts, Hello Kitty, Holidays, Kawaii, Kids, Kitties, Kitty, Kristin Bell, ornament, parrots, plushies, polka dots, ribbon, scarf, sewing, sewn, snowman, Stuffed Animals, Valentine | Leave a comment

I’ve been busy over the holidays making more and more kitties! They are so fun! :) Here are pictures of some more of them. :)

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pinkhellokittykitty

sweetshoppekitty

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Sign the Petition to Increase Funding for Research for Mental Illness

December 29, 2012 at 5:54 pm | Posted in Anti-depressants, Anti-psychotics, Anxiety, Bipolar, congress, cure, democrat, Depression, Health, Kristin Bell, Mental Health, Mental Illness, petition, politics, POTUS, President, Psych Meds, Psychiatrist, Psychiatry, Psychiatry Denial, Psycho, Psychoactive Substances, Psychology, Psychosis, republican, Research, schizoaffective disorder, Schizophrenia | Leave a comment

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Hi! Just wanted to post this to ask people to please sign the petition to the President and Congress to increase funding for research related to finding cures for mental illness. It only takes a minute! Please share with your friends too!

https://www.change.org/petitions/to-the-president-and-congress-fund-research-to-cure-mental-illness

Fashion Fix: Presents From My Favorite Companies!

December 26, 2012 at 7:04 pm | Posted in 1XL, 2012, 2XL, 3XL, 4XL, 5XL, Body, Body Image, Body Narrative, Bracelets, Clothes, clothing, Extended Plus Size, Fashion, Fat, Fat Acceptance, Free, Kristin Bell, Plus Size, presents, scarf, Simply Be, Ulla Popken | Leave a comment

Imagine my surprise when I got something in the mail that I didn’t even order! The pictured bracelet came from Ulla Popken for no reason at all! How nice! And I love what it says! The scarf is from Simply Be, simply because I entered a photo of me wearing my favorite Joe Brown’s item! A big thank you to both companies for not only the items they gave me, but for catering to the plus size chubb-chubb girls like me! Without them I’d be naked!!!

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Mental Illness in Light of the Recent Shootings

December 21, 2012 at 4:50 am | Posted in 2012, discussion, gunman, Guns, Kristin Bell, Mental Health, Mental Illness, school, shooting, stigma, Video, Violence | 1 Comment

Purple Cupid Pillow

December 21, 2012 at 3:51 am | Posted in 2012, 2013, cozy, craft, creative, cupid, Cute, fabric, Handmade, Holidays, Kawaii, Kristin Bell, Love, pillow, Pillows, purple, Valentine, Valentine's Day | Leave a comment

Just finished making my purple cupid pillow! :)

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Cupid Fabric Just Rolled In! Yay!

December 20, 2012 at 6:57 pm | Posted in 2012, 2013, Art, artist, arts & crafts, Colorful, craft, creative, cupid, Cute, Decorating, design, design your own fabric, drawings, fabric, fabric design, Handmade, Happy, heart, hearts, hobby, Holidays, Illustrated, iPad Art, Kawaii, Kristin Bell, Love, Pillows, quilting, spoonflower, Valentine, Valentine's Day | Leave a comment

I wanted to share the cupid fabric I made with you guys! It just came today and I love it! I went a little crazy with the cupids! haha. If you are interested in checking out these and other designs I’ve created, click on this link: http://www.spoonflower.com/profiles/kristinbell

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Shootings, Shootings Everywhere!

December 15, 2012 at 5:42 pm | Posted in 2012, Clackamas Town Center, Connecticut, controversial, Crime, crimes, Culture of Violence, Denial, Discrimination, gunman, Guns, insanity, Kristin Bell, Las Vegas, Lunatic, Male, Men, Mental Health, Mental Illness, OR, Oregon, Paranoid Schizophrenia, Portland, Psych Meds, Psychiatrist, Psychiatry, Psychiatry Denial, Psycho, Psychology, Psychosis, schizoaffective disorder, Schizophrenia, school, shooting, Shopping, Suicide, Support System, Surviving, USA, Violence | Leave a comment

In the United States in the past week we have been shocked and devastated by public shootings. First in Oregon at Clackamas Town Center, then in Connecticut at an elementary school and then in Las Vegas at a hotel. Most people, myself included, are horrified at the violence. Naturally, we now all seem to be debating about how to prevent these senseless acts. Some people latch onto gun control, some people latch onto our violently oriented culture, and some people latch onto mental illness as an issue. I honestly don’t know that there are any answers or actions that society can make as a whole to prevent things like this happening in the future, but this bit of rant is not about answers exactly. What I want to talk about is what is NOT the answer.

What is NOT the answer is scapegoating any one group of people. From my perspective as a person living with mental illness, I am (of course) sensitive to people ranting about how the mentally ill should be locked up or about how all of the shooters must have been mentally ill. Honestly, we don’t know enough about the situations or people to comment. What I have to say time and time again is that statistics bear out the fact that mentally ill people are generally not violent and are, in fact, more likely to be the victims of violent crime than the perpetrators of violent crime. People with mental illness are often more of a threat to themselves than to anyone else. Even if all of the shooters turn out to be mentally ill, that does not mean that all people with mental illness are violent. We can note also that all of the shooters were male, but that doesn’t mean that all men are violent and that all men should be locked away from society or have their rights stripped.

It is distressing to me that so often the conversation will turn into attacks on mentally ill people aka “the crazies” and how to keep them away from “the rest of us.” There are literally millions (or more) people living with mental illness who never harm anyone. If someone is violent AND mentally ill, that does not mean they are violent BECAUSE they are mentally ill. They are violent, because they are violent. We should focus our energies on how to make the world a less violent one with people who are less violent, not perpetuate stereotypes and attack other humans who have done nothing wrong.

White Background Cupid Wrapping Paper! Yay!

December 15, 2012 at 5:11 pm | Posted in 2012, Art, artist, arts & crafts, craft, creative, cupid, Cute, design, design your own fabric, fabric, fabric design, Holidays, Kawaii, Kristin Bell, sewing, spoonflower, Valentine, Valentine's Day, wrapping paper | Leave a comment

I just got my white-backed cupid wrapping paper today! I love it! Supercute! :) I made the drawings of the cupids on my ipad and then adjusted everything in Photoshop. Then I sent it off to spoonflower and viola! Here is the link to the page for this design on spoonflower if you are interested: http://www.spoonflower.com/fabric/1636589

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Beautiful Cupid Wrapping Paper!

December 13, 2012 at 1:41 pm | Posted in 2012, Art, artist, arts & crafts, cupid, Cute, design, design your own fabric, Holidays, Illustrated, Kristin Bell, Love, spoonflower, Valentine, Valentine's Day, wrapping paper | Leave a comment

I know…it is a bit early for Valentine’s day, but while Spoonflower.com is still making holiday wrapping paper I figured I would get my cupid design printed! It turned out to be so great! I love it!  The paper is nice and thick too, so you could use it for things other than wrapping. If you’d like to check out the design, it is available at this link: http://www.spoonflower.com/fabric/1636622.

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Kitty Pirate! Eh, Matey?!?

December 9, 2012 at 11:58 pm | Posted in 2012, Art, artist, arts & crafts, Christmas, Cute, dolls, Handmade, Hello Kitty, Kawaii, Kitties, Kitty, Kristin Bell, ornament, pillow, pirate, plushies, sewing, sewn, Toy | 2 Comments

Made this pirate kitty for my friend’s son. His pants are removable. Bit of an OOPS in the fabric placement for the crotch area on the front. Luckily the pants cover it! haha. He’s also got an eye patch (but no eyes) and a bow tie. I hope he enjoys his matey! Arrrggggh!!! :)

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Some New Kitty (or Bear?) Ornament Dolls

December 9, 2012 at 7:58 pm | Posted in 2012, artist, arts & crafts, Beach, Bears, blue, Cats, Children, Christmas, craft, creative, Cute, design, dolls, fabric, feline, Friends, Fun, green, Handmade, Happy, Hello Kitty, hobby, Holidays, Horses, Kawaii, Kitties, Kitty, Kristin Bell, ornament, pillow, plushies, sewing, sewn, Toy, yellow | Leave a comment

I can’t figure out now if these are actually kitties or bears or some weird hybrid! lol. I decided to make some of these kitties for different people using different fabrics. Here we have: green kitty, beach kitty and horse kitty! :) SWEET! I’m currently in love with these little things! lol

greenkitty

beachkitty

horsekitty

Hello Kitty Holiday Doll Made by Moi!

December 7, 2012 at 10:45 pm | Posted in 2012, Art, artist, arts & crafts, Christmas, craft, Cute, design, dolls, Handmade, Hello Kitty, Holidays, Kawaii, Kristin Bell, ornament, pillow, red, sewing, sewn | 2 Comments

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My supernice friend Debby gave me some Hello Kitty holiday fabric and I decided to make a Hello Kitty ornament doll with it. I made two other smaller ones, but their hands were shaped more weird, so I enlarge the pattern I designed and came up with this Hello Kitty! I thought she could do with a skirt/apron too! hehe. The red stripes are the back. Even though she has no real face, I think she is pretty cute! :)

JOY!

November 27, 2012 at 9:52 pm | Posted in 2012, Art, artist, arts & crafts, Christmas, Decorating, elves, fabric, Holidays, Kawaii, Kristin Bell, pillow, sewing, sewn | Leave a comment

I just finished this JOY decoration. I turned my wreath into the ‘O’ and then I made a ‘J’ and a ‘Y.’ Not too shabby I say. It isn’t perfect, but I like it a lot! Yay!

Merry Little Elves Wreath

November 24, 2012 at 11:23 pm | Posted in 2012, Art, artist, arts & crafts, Christmas, elves, Handmade, Happy, Holidays, Kristin Bell, merry, pillow, Pillows, plushies, sewing, sewn, wreath | Leave a comment

I just completed this little wreath that I made to go with my candy canes! It turned out fairly well for my first ever attempt at such a project! Yay!!!

A Jingle Bell Candy Cane!

November 24, 2012 at 11:59 am | Posted in 2012, arts & crafts, Candy Cane, Christmas, craft, Cute, Decorating, Kristin Bell, pillow, Pillows, sewing, sewn | 2 Comments

I just made this little jingle bell candy cane! It even has a ribbon for hanging! I think it turned out pretty great if I do say so myself! Yay! :) The pic is a view of the back and front of it.

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