So here’s the thing.

Even years used to be my favourite.

Now you might say that this is magical thinking at its best, but I know that when you enter the dark world of odd numbers there’s just gonna be trouble in store.

Just take a look.

1 3  5  7  9

Now you can’t tell me that all those odd numbers don’t look dark, angry, and downright depressed compared to their round and jolly even compadre’s.

2  4  6  8  0

O.K. so the 0 is a bit ominous…

Can’t see it? Then I can’t save you from the consequences of ignoring the possibility of imminent every other year danger.


But, I’m beginning to think I was wrong as so far 2016 has sucked, more so even than 2011 when both my mum and father in law died within a month of each other costing us a small fortune to go back and forth to the U.K. for their funerals. Not to mention the waste of time and energy it took to unpack from the first trip just to load it all back up again.

Oh, and let’s not forget the distress and anguish part.

To be honest this mess of a year did start back in December of 2015, as though it was saving up its winning card to throw onto the table right at the last minute – just when you thought you were safe – so perhaps that’s what set 2016 off on the wrong foot. But let me tell you, from now on the even years have got a lot of making up to do…

The story so far…

December – Cervical scare. Hospital procedure involving Victorian leg tights, deli cap, and stylish hospital gown. Waited a month. Nothing wrong…

Also in December – Kidney’s took a 50% function hit involving blood and pee tests – nothing like keeping your pee in the fridge alongside the dairy to keep life interesting. Two weeks of scouting out unsuspecting, healthy looking, kidney donors in the supermarket – only those in the fruit and veg section of course, didn’t want any of those vitamin deprived kidneys hanging out in my body, and the making of an extensive reading list to keep me going through dialysis.

January – Kidney tests came back A Okay for no apparent reason whatsoever except, I suppose, to keep the hypochondria fed and watered. This lead to a small smacking of the doctor to let him know that it sucked to be fooled into false diagnosis’s even though it wasn’t his fault. He should have known better than to pull his chair up that close to an anxiety ridden hypochondriac.

Also in January – Mammogram scare. Another month of terror. Hanging around. Tests, tests, and more test. Turned out to be a cyst… or did it. I can see that little blot on the landscape may well be hanging around in the depths of my overactive imagination for some time to come…

February – Ovary scare. Loads more tests culminating in the making of a, who get’s what, list. The studio was divvied out and preparations for the Viking send off in the pool were arranged. Couldn’t be doing with all the expense and ceremonious inconvenience of a regular funeral, rather a floaty, a large G&T, and then get the ol’ jewelry torch out for me.

March – Dad died. All of a sudden. No warning. No nothing.

April – Well this week really. Apparent heart attack… O.K. so that was jumping ahead a bit.

On Monday I went to the doctors having had chest pressure the whole week before. They wheeled me right down to the E.R. which was kind of embarrassing, and distressing as apparently there was a 6 hour wait! What! I almost decided to go home when my name was called. For some reason they like to check out the high blood pressure, chest pain, quiet, pale people sooner rather than later. So six tests and two days later I came home. Can’t say they weren’t thorough.

Turns out it’s probably anxiety, although I’m pretty sure it esophageal cancer. You know a hypochondriac is nothing if not vigilant…

So, taking into account that, alongside my dad, all those other lovely people have died. Bowie, Prince, Victoria Woods, Ronnie Corbett, to name just a few, 2016 pretty much sucks.

But, I know its number and where it hangs out so 2016 better be darn well careful from now on is all I can say…

So back to life…

Before the trip to the E.R. I finished the sad girl painting.


And this little lovely although I’m not enjoying how it looks like a bunny.

Polychrome Jasper and Turquoise

This, which seems a bit too chunky.

Candelaria Turquoise

And just before all the excitement I began this


Which has a long way to go if it’s going to hang around with the others.

The afternoon they released me from you know where I started these.


And it was wonderful to get back in the studio.

I finished them yesterday 🙂

Kingman Turquoise, China Mountain Turquoise, and something lovely

I call them my little freedom lovelies…

And now I’m putting chains on all of my older pieces in time for the art festival.

To me this is the most boring part.

Condor Agate, Ocean Jasper, Larimar, Ocean Jasper

So friends just to finish. I started this blog as a way to put myself out there. I wanted to show myself that it’s not worth living with a lack of confidence, and to face all of my insecurities. And it’s working. I’m growing as a jewelry maker and I found along the way that I wanted to share all of this, warts and all, so that anyone else who struggles knows that’s it’s o.k. and to just do it. In the long run, none of this matters.

So I share my mistakes, my anxieties, my hypochondria, all be it tongue in cheek. I am o.k. It’s all good. And I want to laugh in the face of it all (except for my dad) and just get on with making the most of it all.

None of this is meant to get you down or elicit sympathy, although chocolate never hurts…

Sorry if it does.



25 thoughts on “So here’s the thing.

  1. I always thoroughly enjoy every single blog post that you write…I don’t always comment, but rest assured, not one post goes unread.

    I truly feel for you – in all respects to what you you wrote today. Reading your post today, there are so many similarities between us that I could have written this post (except my father passed a long time ago). I have not even written on my blog since March – afraid to “put it all out there”. But, I commend you for it – I really do! As far as health scares – to me, they are the worst! And, you are not a hypochondriac – far from it! It is the “unknown diagnosis” that makes one feel like a hypochondriac. You may have just lit the fire under my butt to update my blog…maybe!

    As for all of your art…all of it…amazing!

    I hope the rest of 2016 is memorable in a good way!

    • coldfeetstudioblog

      🙂 Patti. You know it really has helped. It’s like therapy. I get it all out there and it I can look at it from the outside in. Sometimes you just need a different perspective. 😉

  2. Sorry to hear your parts have ganged up on you and caused such a fuss! All at once even. Never a good time for that, but I’m sure you’re especially fragile right now. I have a touch of the hypochondria myself–it comes and goes. Seems to be the way my anxiety manifests sometimes. When I’m in the throes of it, I can’t rest until I get my mystery symptoms checked out! Because what if it was real and I stupidly blew it off only to die a month later when I could easily have saved myself…So I hear ya! And then having an abnormal this or that test just makes it all blow up (glad you have thorough doctors even if they do scare the bejeesus out of you–those mystery spots on the mammograms! Oy!). Anxiety can do a number on you. I had this “lump in the throat” feeling for a while that I was convinced was a hiatal hernia or esophageal cancer (someone in our office DIED of esophageal cancer so of course I probably had it too) but it promptly went away after some massage and never came back and I read that this “globus” phenomenon is often pure anxiety. You have had a rough rough time with your dad passing, and then all the wonky test results and doctors running around wringing their hands on top of that would give anybody fits! Sometimes if you go too long without a good cry it all builds up. (You didn’t mention the ovary again so I’m hoping that turned out OK?).

    • coldfeetstudioblog

      Yep, the ovary was fine, had to put the Viking send off to one side. Thank goodness as, at the time, the pool pump had died and the whole thing was looking a bit green. Glad to meet another hypo, we have safety in numbers, but it really starts to get old sometimes… 😉

  3. Sheila Munro

    2016 has been a bad year as you say for celebs dying and to you your father obviously is one, so even worse. All of the health scares sound very worrying and it is extremely hard not to get caught up in them, but I am glad that making this post has helped you and from now on 2016 will hopefully conform to being an even year.

    I love reading your posts and seeing what you have created, or are about to create, so please keep them coming xx

    • coldfeetstudioblog

      🙂 Thanks Sheila.

  4. Sandy Robinson

    Well, here’s the thing. Your near death experiences never keep you from turning out some amazing artistic works!

    • coldfeetstudioblog

      lol Got to ignore it all somehow 😉

  5. If your life were “perfect” – I wouldn’the read your blog;)

    • coldfeetstudioblog

      Hadn’t thought of it that way before 😉 How boring would that be…

  6. Deborah Uher


    It sounds to me like you’ve had genuine – not all hypochondriacal – health concerns. When negative things pile up they are much harder to handle than if they would space themselves out appropriately. And I think you’d be pleasantly surprised to know that many of us have stored pee temporarily in the fridge.

    I was in the dairy/non-dairy/alternative dairy section of Whole Foods a few days ago, having lunch and shopping with my two Vegan daughters, wearing the first gaspeite piece that you made for me, the one with the little opal, and a woman with a charming 15-month old named Emmeline told me that she couldn’t take her eyes off my necklace due to its gorgeousness. She had just returned from a month long vacation in Australia. We had a lovely chat.

    If you’ve got gaspeite left, and when/if you’re feeling up to it and inspired, I’d like you to make something else for me. Just let me know. Hang in there.


    • coldfeetstudioblog

      Thanks for telling me that Deborah, it made me smile. I’d be happy to make you a new piece. Just send me some details of how you would like it to look…

  7. anne mertz

    Thanks so much for the giggles and giving a little more reassurance to enjoy the journey.

    • coldfeetstudioblog


  8. All those others checking-out in 2016 don’t matter one bit to me, but I’m glad you’re just an anxious hypochondriac. Actually, as someone already said, doesn’t sound like you’re a hypochondriac at all….so the anxiety is understandable. I like the freedom lovelies and love the sad girl. Good luck with that art festival; your anxiety certainly isn’t holding back your creativity!

    • coldfeetstudioblog

      Thanks Gale. The festival was called off for today due to the possibility of all this bad Texas weather. Turned out to be a nice day, but now it’s scheduled for next weekend. I was pleased it was postponed, however, due to the three days lost in the hospital testing zone 😉

  9. Anonymous

    Please don’t be so negative about your art. I loved seeing the painting and your beautiful jewelry, but when you say negative things about your art it gives a negative feeling to your work. Please, celebrate your art because it is so beautiful. Let the beholder make their own opinion. I really love your creativity. ☺

    • coldfeetstudioblog

      You’re right. I have been trying to catch hold of that when it happens. I think it’s just been a hard habit to break. Thanks for the reminder 🙂

  10. My first reaction to your blog was to see the funny side of all your health scares and tell you you should change doctors . But really, I think that you are actually being very sensible and brave to trust your instincts and have all your health problems checked out. Rather safe than sorry! Trusting my instincts and acting promptly have saved me twice already, once with breast cancer (I had to have a mastectomy and and then reconstruction surgery, and once with cervical cancer. My pap smear came back clear, but I had a feeling something was wrong and insisted they do a D & C, which turned out to be malignant. I duly had a vaginal hysterectomy (which was not bad at all) and caught the cancer in time, and now, 15 years later, I am still in the clear! (And with perky breasts, might I add) So good for you! Your jewellery and paintings are just so amazing, keep it up! Cecilia Robinson

    • coldfeetstudioblog

      I’m so glad that you caught them otherwise we wouldn’t be having our cyberspace friendship and, although I wouldn’t know it because it wouldn’t have happened, I would have missed it 🙂

  11. I know about the anxiety, feeling-a-pain-in-the-chest thing. And really, how do you know when you go over the edge, and get that coronary? Better stop and ask before you drop down dead! OK, you maybe need a bit of clogged arteries — but listen, there is also a thing called “broken heart disease”, which in its most extreme causes a constriction of the heart, which can fail, and you die! I think you can safely google it, because it’s sort of benign — if you stop in time, it’s practically reversible, and should only be treated by winding down, maybe popping some beta-blockers (maybe some yoga… 🙂 ) How do I know — well, I was there checking my electric cardiogram and heart damage markers last week…. everything OK here too (yeah, hypochondriac…), but then I think I may have caught it in time, started popping those beta-blockers early 😉 Trouble at work, just awful right now.
    And here’s what I learned last year: when a loved one dies, your adrenaline levels soar. That’s evolution — if your adrenaline levels went up, you usually had a better chance of surviving whatever killed your family. And there’s no discussing with that adrenaline, it just won’t listen to reason (hey, they died of old age, not a lion! -but no…). And adrenaline = anxiety and insomnia. Then you might end up with the broken heart, especially if there’s been a lot of other worries too.
    When it comes to cancer, I tend to play ostrich, hoping it won’t strike me — I guess your approach just could be better in the long run 🙂 Of course, one might get the chance to say “told you I didn’t feel well” if one’s hypochondria proved to be something else, but I might just prefer being over-sensitive (really not the same as hypochondria)!

    • coldfeetstudioblog

      🙂 I love the marker on Spike Milligan’s grave (an old school English comedian) which reads, I told you I was ill…
      Sorry your loved one died and work is awful. We should all just learn to take deep breaths and relax.

  12. Anne H Smith

    So true, we all need to learn to “relax and let be” Even tho I’m a beginner and not at all accomplished like you, making metal things is my respite. I just found your blog for the first time today and have been binging all day long! I laughed so hard watching you use the miter jig, it’s exactly how I feel! You are so normal and unpretentious- and then turn out stuff straight from heaven. I hope you see this, wasn’t sure how to leave a message. Thank you for being so generous with your gifts…Anne

    • coldfeetstudioblog

      Thank you so much Anne 🙂
      I really appreciate your comment as I really am just a muddler and often wonder why on earth I think I can show someone how to make anything at all! But I think that’s just it. We really shouldn’t be put off even if we can’t use the jig thing. I’m just making another video series now and I’m a little hesitant to post it, but we’ll see 🙂 Deborah.

  13. Anne Smith

    I cannot wait for your next series! ?

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