Invited By Lama Works

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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Who are you and what's with the donations??

I know that some of you are family, friends or have been following my blog for awhile, but others are new to Lama Works so this is for you. In particular, this is for a new team I just joined called Etsy Project Embrace. Hello to my new team!!

I am by trade a biomedical engineer from Milwaukee, WI. I have a bachelors and masters degree from Marquette University. I spent a few years designing artificial elbow, wrist and shoulder joint parts and surgical instruments to go with them. During grad school I worked with stroke survivors. I worked with a team of physical therapists to design a low cost joystick gaming device that could be used to regain arm function and work on strengthening and controlling movements.
After grad school I moved to Chicago and started working with the rehabilitation department at a Children's hospital. I worked with children with cerebral palsy, spina bifida and clubfoot that all had problems walking. I watched them walk with special cameras that are frequently used to make animated movies and video games. Our movies were used to help physicians break down how they walked and figure out how to fix any problems they might have.
Life brings changes along the way and while I loved what I did, other opportunities came around. After I got married a year and a half ago I found myself rather bored and picked up my crafting hobbies again. I have a very short attention span so that included knitting, quilting and scrapbooking. Well, one can only knit so many hats for herself ... A friend of mine opened me up to Etsy and the rest is history!

One sale brought on a second and a third. Before I knew it I had more sales than I could keep up with on the nights and weekends. Right around the same time my husband was offered a fantastic job in his home town of Quincy, IL. I took the leap and now I'm running Lama Works full time.
What's with the name?? My brilliant mother-in-law came up with that one! La are the first two letters of my first name, and Ma are the first two letters of my last name ... put them together and you have Lama! Not the animal ... not the Dalai ... just me :)

And what's with the donations?? A good friend of mine, Matt Wessel, has been singing, writing music and performing for years to raise money for the American Cancer Society. You can find out more about his music here. At his concert this past March, he challenged us all to make a difference. He wants to show that if a large group of people band together to make just small donations, it can have a large impact. One person can make a difference. So he challenged each of us to get creative and see if we could raise $100 by the time his next show came around next March.

What better way to be creative than to use my store! It not only gave me a cause to be passionate about, but it also gave me some sales goals. I wanted to grow the store of course, but have never really sat down and said, "OK I want to have 1 sale a week".

So there it started and I am so happy to be a part of this project and now part of Etsy Project Embrace. Many of the team members donate part of all of their profits directly to the American Cancer Society to raise money for cancer research. How great is that? You can find out more information about the team and a list of members here.

So go out and check out the team and help them support the ACS!

Until the next time ...
The girl behind the lama
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Thursday, November 5, 2009

So Proud ...

Today is a very special day in our home. For as long as I've known him, my husband wanted to be an attorney. I was just an acquaintance when I saw him studying political science. I was a friend the summer he was studying for the LSAT, telling him that it didn't matter how he did on the LSAT - it just mattered that he got into a law school, graduated and passed the bar. I had graduated to girlfriend status by the time he was accepted into law school and was choosing where he wanted to go. I was his fiance as he struggled to find summer internships in a tumultuous economy. And I've been his wife to see him through graduation, studying through the bar exam and then the waiting to see if he passed.

Today is his day.

Today he gets sworn into the Illinois Bar Association. We will all stand beside him and hope he knows just how proud we are. Congratulations, my dear! I am so blessed to have been by your side through everything and am so excited to be by your side for the journey to come :)

Until the next time ...
The girl behind the lama
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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Year the Dog Ate Chocolate

There was a lovely comment from Midnightcoiler on my last post that is the inspiration of this post - that's for curing my writers block!

Dogs and chocolate. has the following guidelines on dogs and the toxicity of chocolate:

"The good news is that it takes, on average, a fairly large amount of theobromine 100-150 mg/kg to cause a toxic reaction. Although there are variables to consider like the individual sensitivity, animal size and chocolate concentration.

On average,
Milk chocolate contains 44 mg of theobromine per oz.
Semisweet chocolate contains 150mg/oz.
Baker's chocolate 390mg/oz.

Using a dose of 100 mg/kg as the toxic dose it comes out roughly as:
1 ounce per 1 pound of body weight for Milk chocolate
1 ounce per 3 pounds of body weight for Semisweet chocolate
1 ounce per 9 pounds of body weight for Baker's chocolate.

So, for example, 2 oz. of Baker's chocolate can cause great risk to an 15 lb. dog. Yet, 2 oz. of Milk chocolate usually will only cause digestive problems."

Now my sweet little (yet chubby) Puggle has a tendency to get into things. He will do ANYTHING for food and I mean anything. He loves carbs. Will eat an entire bag of rolls in a flash.

The setting is Christmas, 3 years ago. It would be our first Christmas with Luke. I had just purchased a plethera of boxes of Frango Mints (love them - thank you Macys!!) to hand out as gifts. We went out to dinner one night and found that Luke had eaten yes, an entire box of these dark chocolate mint wonders. He appeared to be fine. Stomach of steel. Never better!

Fast forward 2 weeks. It's our first year we are spending Christmas together. My first Christmas at my future in-laws. We head to their house and have a lovely time. Christmas Eve. We go out and about somewhere and come home to find that as much as we had barricaded him in, our cute and innocent dog had broken into the basement and had found the one pound box of Jamaican rum chocolate and ate ... well all of it.

Christmas Eve goes on ... we open presents ... Luke gets sick. Luke proceeds to attempt to expel all chocolate and rum out of his system all night long. My poor husband slept with him on the kitchen floor all night to make sure he was OK.

Christmas Day comes and everything appears back to normal. We party all day long. 9pm rolls around and we finally start out 5.5 hour drive home because I had a meeting the next morning. We are 45 minutes into the trip and poor Luke starts to get sick again in the back seat of the car. Still the chocolate?? Hungover maybe?? Either way he ended up getting sick about every 45 minutes the entire car ride home.

Longest car ride ever.

We even went to far as to call a vet at 10 pm on Christmas Day night to see if he needed emergency care. He ended up at the vet the next day with an IV of fluids and shaped back up. Poor dog.

So yes, for your own sake - keep the dog away from the chocolate.

Other dog stories to come some day. Maybe about the time that he needed a epi shot?? Or maybe the time that he was in a cast for a week?? Ahhhh ... Luke. So cute ... yet somehow so accident prone!

Until the next time ...
The girl behind the lama (and her dog)
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Sunday, November 1, 2009

I ....

Have writers block ...

I've started numerous posts ...

Erased them ...

I'm out of bloggy ideas. Do you have any??

To keep everyone happy, I'll keep today simple ... with a few pictures of my dog, Luke, from Halloween. He is a bit ... well ... "stocky" ... so it doesn't fit him very well and he never seems completely happy when we put it on, but the complies and just looks up with this sad "Mom, do I have to????" face.

Happy Halloween!!

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