Thursday, December 13, 2012

Ho Ho Ho

Here it is the 13th of December and I still don't have my Christmas decorations up. I have the tree up, which was a great feat in and of itself. I found the lights that I wanted to use and got those on, but ended up that they were way too dark... I used purple only and they are just way too depressing and Halloweenesque... so I started searching for the regular white lights that I used last year, the ugly led lights that I really hate but are so much more economical and easier to use. I can string on a bazillion and they don't burn down the tree or flip the breaker on the electrical box... so I am happy with those. However, I have spent forever looking for them. Never finding them in with the Christmas boxes in the little storage shed that has everything cram packed to the rafters. I did find the googly eyes that I was looking for at Halloween, and the platters and the bottles with the cute and eerily funny labels and the extra test tubes filled with colored sugars...  sigh... 

So I don't have ornaments up yet. I got sick with a cold, I am sure from all the dust in the shed and the stuff that blew in from the North with the last cold front that came through, it is just like me to get sick just before a holiday. My son as well, he's sick now and can't miss any more school. We all know the trouble we were in, allowing him to stay home with a fever last year... They (the school) called with one of the robo-calls and said if your child has flu-like symptoms or has a fever, keep them home and call the school. I did, and bless his heart... they threatened to hold him back a grade, He's a straight A student with perfect citizenship... 

So, I have been washing my hands incessantly and wearing a mask (no joke) and working on a few projects, I am rather pleased with the white bracelet that I made. The picture doesn't do it justice but  right now it isn't on my priorities to take good pictures :(  I am working on a necklace that I don't want to reveal yet, it is for someone and I don't want them to see it!  We are trying to take it easy right now and not stress too much, though it is hard with a ten year old and Christmas only two weeks away. There is always such a rush at the last minute to make sure everything is picture perfect, and this year... well... seems to be that elves are going to have to come in and help out some!

Does anyone else feel inadequate right now???

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Mayan Calendar

Here it is December 6th and I don't have Christmas lights up or the tree up, I don't have a wreath, I don't have my cute Christmas sweaters out, I don't have any decorations whatsoever. It isn't because I am bah humbugging... really... I just haven't had the time. Really....  Then maybe in the back of my mind somewhere there is this thought that if the Mayan's were right... maybe decorations are kind of silly. Nah. I really don't think that the Mayans were that great that they knew the precise time that the world would end... and I don't know about the state of affairs that the Middle East is in if it will implode itself and take the rest of the world with it... but maybe there is that in the back of my mind as well?  So really it is that I decorate for other people and never get around to doing my own and kind of get sick of the decorations early. I am one of those people now that takes down the decorations pretty fast. For Halloween, I decorate the day of and then take down that night. I find it pretty tacky to have spooky stuff up during the day and really tacky after Halloween. Christmas is getting almost that bad for me. Bah....

So here is my homage to the Mayan's, this is a bracelet that I made... I kind of like it. Kind of silly really isn't it that we think so much of a people that died out so long ago?  I have always found the culture intriguing and really enjoyed when my son's GT class studied the Mayan and Aztec cultures. One of the trips we took was to the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth to see the Mayan Exhibit The "Fiery Pool". (  ). Totally worth traveling that distance. For us, that distance is 6 hours but really, I would have gone farther just to have my son see some of the things that they were studying. The Kimbell is always a great place to visit, the exhibits are usually great and Fort Worth is always gracious.

So I am going to try to get my Christmas decorations out today, don't know about the tree.... I think I will play that one by ear... but the weather is supposed to be wonderful today and tomorrow, so I guess I better strike while the iron is hot... or make hay while the sun shines... bah....

Thursday, November 08, 2012

It is a beautiful day today!!! Couldn't ask for a nicer Indian Summer here. The sky is brilliant blue and the temperature is near 80 already, and I am so excited to get out and soak up some sunshine before winter hits. 
I love this rose bush! the flowers have such a beautiful velvety look!
The bush is a rather large rose bush (rooftop at it's tallest point) that has been growing for the past 10 years, I planted it when my son was born. The rose may or may not be what it started out as, I swear I bought the JFK which is a whitish beautiful tea rose, and I'm pretty sure that is how it bloomed the first year, I think it might have frozen back that winter and is now reverted to the old stock that it was grown on, but the flowers are beautiful... it just has tons and tons of thorns. I was told that it is probably the "Red Radiance", and is pretty hardy. Like I say, it has tons of thorns, and it hurts to cut the flowers off, so I usually leave them on the plant... and I didn't even prune it back the past two years...  there are so  many thorns that the plant has chewed up most of the roses that are on it.
 Saying that... it has been dormant for most of the past two years. Off and on again it has flower buds, mostly after a rain,  but usually they are dried up before they have a chance to open up.  It rained really slow and soaking a while back and now with the cooler temperatures, the bush has gone crazy, thinking it is now or never to bloom!!!  and the pink? it is an oleander that, like the rose, has been dormant for a long time. There are other oleanders but this one seems to think it is time to bloom as well. 

I have been doing the AEDM and haven't posted anything so far of the things that I have done, but thought I would catch you up on some of the things I've been doing since Summer... well, some things, mostly stuff that doesn't pertain to art, but then some does... and I have enjoyed doing artwork this month, but there has been so much since the last time that I actually  posted about anything. 
So here goes... 
My booth, you can't see the glitter everywhere!
Some of my items
In August I did the Highland Games in my hometown, and it was fun but not very profitable. There is always more work when it is local, there are so many things you can bring that it seems unending what you have in the booth.  This first picture doesn't do it justice... there is tons of glitter that just didn't show up when I looked at the picture. Glitter absolutely everywhere. I had probably the sparkliest booth in the whole arena. 
    I do like the booth, it is very comfy. People don't understand why I don't want to be out in the open, why I hide away in the closed part of the booth... even when I only did a 10'x10' I had the walls covered, but that is the way I like it. I don't like being very social when I am at a festival, and I have kids with me usually, and they need a "quiet" place to be, away from the hubbub and I think the walls help with that, as well as they serve as a place for me to hang quilts and head garlands, etc... 
This is another shot of the booth, That is my 98 pound baby laying in the floor. He has his own bed when we go to the shows, fairs, and festivals. My real baby has his own "room", it is just behind the screen with the wings hanging on it. He takes the dvd player and snacks, rugs, pillows and blankets and hangs out there when he gets tired. He really has grown into the helper though. He found that he can do work, get paid, and go spend the money right away!  What a character... 

Then school started and things got really busy, my son decided to play football again, though he had put off enrolling for it until the last minute. He said he didn't want to play again, but when he came home the first day of school, he said all the boys had asked him if he was going to play...
 so he guessed he would... sigh.  I wasn't un-happy for him to not play... and I was apprehensive when he wanted to play. but even with moves like this (without his helmet on).... he made it through without a broken bone :) ..... OK, don't ask, just don't ask what he was doing...

Then we had some days that we weren't so busy, with my mom sick and us sitting with her, school, my classes, and football.. we did get some stuff done, OK, not a lot, but I did repair this wig form that I bought to display hats on, but her/his nose got broken off when we were going home, so I had to build another one, though he/she was kind of cute without the nose... I got a bit carried away and made it into a faerie with the ears and a cute hairdo, I didn't take a picture of the finished head, and, well, now I can't, well.. I could but I used it on the front porch for Halloween as a severed head and it got knocked off and broken... so I am going to have to redo the nose and one ear and patch the parts that chipped off. 

My son working on a science experiment
Then we had science experiments, and math projects and GT with it's unique
projects, and the never ending homework, homework, homework...
This is my son, he did a science experiment on solubility/ conductivity and insulation... I was taking pictures for his powerpoint, he wasn't impressed when I told him to smile so most of the shots were like this one. 

Which brings me to this picture of my kitchen, well, a little bit of the kitchen. We started last Summer to work on it, but we went to Britain and France for the Summer and didn't get much done, then Fall and Winter, Spring, Summer again and I didn't get it finished still....But it ends up that what I have for the counter top is kind of nice, and even if it isn't permanent it looks ok. 
I haven't done the floor, and the ceiling is still half done, but it doesn't have any holes in it either, just needs to be finished up. I want a tin ceiling, but might settle for it to be just finished!

 Halloween came and went, it was nice but we thought about all the people that had passed away or were without homes or power on the Eastern seaboard and it kind of put a damper on the occasion.  But since there are kids, there is a Halloween...
We always decorate, just to what extent is not always known until the day of... I keep all the decorations from year to year, but there is no telling what we will use and what we won't. The case in this picture(to the right) usually holds my ceramic bunny and ceramic eggs. I used to use them just at Easter but found they were kind of cute all year long, but I put black birds and vulture eggs in the case for Halloween, it just seemed right for them. I have a jar of Vulture Eggs on top of it, Somehow I didn't find the box with the large bottles of "blood- O+" or the "Vulture Vomit" 'ghoul guts' or other assorted vile viles....  I don't know what happened to them, but we had moved so many of the items last year when we were moving boxes of kitchen stuff, that well, I don't honestly know where anything is! So we did the laboratory without them. It does have the small jar of monster dentures and severed fingers, eyeballs, and other ghoulish items... 

Which brings me back up to this point in time... and the AEDM... I have sketches from 4 days, and a couple of rings and a bracelet, and yesterday? the dining table was my project. I know it isn't really art... but I started stripping the table of the paint and the nasty surface that I had covered up in the first place and  it is going to be my labor of love. I didn't do anything else creative yesterday. The table is kind of big and bulky, and it is going to be another day to get it all sanded down and bleached (I am going for a well worn surface that is bare, kind of a rustic French Country look, so it doesn't need any sealer or anything on it. My son, ever the optimist said ..."well, we can always use a tablecloth if anyone comes over"....  yes, son, we can... I don't know if he is embarrassed by me at any point or not... My daughter is I am sure, but she has gotten used to me being eccentric I guess... my son, not as much used to it as he is learning to live with it!!
So, what have you been up to lately????

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

    I am remiss in writing lately. So much has gone on this Summer and into Fall that  I feel like the world is spinning out of control. Big sighs... My mother had surgery in June, she is 87 and has had a lot of surgeries over the years. I think that it is catching up to her. There was a time that she would have a surgery and just bounce back like there was nothing wrong with her and she would be running circles around everyone within days.. not so much this one. They also found a tumor in her heart that they decided to just leave alone. She didn't want to have another surgery anyway, but even the doctors agreed that she was just too weak to try to do anything else. 
    Sooooo, she has been recovering since then. Physical therapy everyday has gotten her body back to  working condition, not top notch shape but she is walking and her heart is working pretty good, but her mind is really hit hard. I personally think it was the cocktail of drugs that hey gave her to do the sonogram of the heart. They gave her the meds and she was kind of moaning while they were moving the scope down her throat and moving her body to get a good look, and the doctor said to give her more... I cringed but didn't question him. I wish I had. That was a tough night....
     I really didn't think she would make it, On top of all... I had the boys with me, well, not with me, they were in the waiting room and I was alone with Mom in the CCU... there was a guy next door to her room and they had maybe 30 people crowded in his room and in the hallway and probably at least another 30 people in the waiting area and hallway, kids everywhere... The security guard stuck his head into the room and asked if I had kids in the waiting room... I said yes and he said we would have to leave... we were breaking the rules of the hospital... I just busted out crying... seriously. The guard backed out of the room quickly and dissappeared. Mom? I thought she wasn't going to make it, warning buzzers and bells going off every few minutes, nurses just leaving us alone except to turn off the noise... She asked if I was OK....... . . I knew then that she was going to be OK
    Well, I say Mom is OK. She doesn't remember having surgery again... she doesn't remember having the surgery on her arm four years ago... she doesn't remember being in the hospital. or all the visitors she has had in the months since... Now she spends most of the day looking at books and magazines and working puzzles and doing therapy and writing. She says she is going to write her life story. I believe she might do it. She's been reminiscing about her childhood and her Uncle and her Father  and well, she had already written a lot,back the last  time she decided to write her story... I am not sure where it is though. Seems she had a clean out of her house before she got sick. Heaven only knows what she did with all her stuff. I guess threw a lot of paperwork away, thinking she didn't need it... and her clothes? Probably to the charity shop.  I don't know why. She has some clothes. Not the huge, two- double closets like she used to have... well, and spilling out into other closets... 
    I guess I am like my mother a lot. I don't ever get rid of clothes either. But every now and again, I will be brutal and throw away something that either does't fit or is so far gone tat it won't ever be worn again without coming to pieces.  But Mom? She never gets rid of clothes. 
   Why do we do weird things when we get old?

    The Summer and what is done of Fall have been spent by bedside and by football field  and steadily working but there just hasen't been time for posting. Oh, and that little thing about my computer getting very, very sick with a virus and trojan horses and all sorts of maladies. I had not updated the virus protection in a while and paid the price for it. That's sorted finally and I am slowing down, here on All Hallow's Eve, Eve...   My son tucked away in bed, almost jumping with excitement about the day to come. He isn't trick-or-treating this year. He didn't even go to the carnivals this weekend. He thinks he is too old at ten to be doing things like that. Sheesh!
We get kids that are 14 or 15 for sure coming for handouts of candy.  I guess I won't make a big deal about it, he wants to dress up and give out candy, which is a relief for me. I have just about had it with the kids that come around... I'll be there to support him, but I don't want to face the hoards. 
    Don't get me wrong... I love kids, really I do, but it seems that they are just pretty snippy and rude when it comes to the candy. Last year I didn't do the bags or cauldrons or small pumpkins filled with candy and goodies like I normally do.  I got a bunch of statements like... "the candy was better last year"  so I was cranky... and a couple of the adults bringing the kids asked where the cupcakes and cookies were. ......... ok........... so I didn't do a lot last year, but really?

    Tomorrow is going to be filled with cookie baking and cupcake baking, but we aren't doing the bags... pumpkins... cauldrons... boxes... nope, not this year. The boy can give out measured doses of the candy by hand  and the kids will either like what they get or they won't...either way, I won't have to hear it... and the adults that come around for cookies and cupcakes? They'll have their treats but don't expect it again next year, 'cause I might not do them again!!!!  well yes I probably will, but don't count on it!!
   I made a peyote stitch bracelet for Halloween, in what spare time I have, thinking I would take a picture of it for the blog, but I haven't yet. I'll try to do that in the morning... but don't hold your breath.  Everything is still out of sorts with me. Promising to do much of anything is unwise for the time being. So there will be updates when I can, and there will be pictures when I can . I have a class coming up so there is always the pressure to get everything ready and lots of samples and lots of handouts so things will be busy around here for a few days. 


Sunday, May 13, 2012

We only had one day of rain, but the rain was beautiful and the days since have been gloriously cool. The dogs are loving the temperatures, and my son has been out playing every day. He has a bow and arrow that he loves to shoot and is an accurate shot, so he has been practicing all week.
I finally finished up a couple of necklaces and a couple of bracelets finished, this one is 6/0 square clear, silver lined beads with 10/0 square clear with silver lined beads for trim. The fringe is glass and crystal beads with 11/0 clear with silver lining seed beads.  I like doing these but I really prefer using 11/0 triangle beads for ribbon peyote stitched necklaces. I think they lay perfect and add such a cool texture.  These beads aren't bad though, they are fast and lay pretty cool.  I made a couple of bracelets out of 11/0 seed beads and one out of 6/0 seeds. I think the larger beads are just not as pretty as the smaller beads, but they do work up so fast, I guess I can't complain. 

The last classes that I taught we started off with 6/0 seeds and  worked one ribbon necklace then I taught a round peyote pouch with peyote ribbon for the necklace. I had the students work with a round plastic bead that was equivalent to an 8/0 and I decided that we wouldn't waste time on that project going to a smaller bead, only one of the students really wanted to learn the stitch anyway, sooooooo, we went right into the matching bracelet for the first necklace in a 10/0 seed bead, with trim that matched. It wasn't  a great thing I am afraid. 

My director asked me to submit my Fall schedule and  syllabus, and I am hesitant to commit. We have discussed having a class for Floral Design that is not just a home use class but an actual accredited course. I was asked to organize the whole course... which I could do, given a budget, given a guarantee that we will actually commit to the course, given that the college will  dedicate classrooms with the necessary equipment and necessary support.  *sigh* I haven't gotten very far with the course. I can't find anyone that is willing to commit to teaching or support, I can't find anyone that is willing to take a chance on the college committing classroom, budget, anything...  One wants to wait on the other, and the college wants me to do this on my own time.  I don't mind so much if it means that I will gain something in the end, Seriously, I don't want to be such a mercenary about this whole thing, but it is a job. It is my livelihood, I am after all a widowed mother and  I need to have income and if I am working on something that has taken many hours so far and come to nothing... I could have worked on jewelry or quilts or something else and made some money off it...  or I could get a real job, as right now is the time, there are hundreds of jobs open and I decide to teach? ****sigh****
Anyone have some advice?

Sorry for the ranting and raving, just it seems that I am kind of at a crisis.  I feel that I am kind of lost right now.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

I have been working a lot lately, just have been negligent in writing. I had hoped that having a way to share my work would be relaxing... ha! I have finished at the college for the semester... I have two workshops coming up this Summer, but really, I just want to be done. I went to the doctor today and he is going to do surgery on my eyes over the next month so maybe by the end of Summer... I'll be able to see again!  For all my whining, I am really ready to have it done. It is getting harder and harder to work.

So here is a picture of one of the necklaces I taught this semester, I'm adding more fringe to it. It was difficult to find the beads that I wanted in the amount that I wanted.... since I didn't know the class size until the day before the class... soooooo, I used these since there were tons I could 
 purchase locally. I had a couple of students that were dissapointed that the beads weren't going to be exactly the same as the picture in the brochure. So, I suppose a disclaimer would be appropriate from here on. 

I have also been working on a necklace that is 6/0 square beads, clear with silver lining. I kind of like the square beads, though I adore 11/0 triangle beads more than anything else I think! 

OOOOOOOOOO! (squealing like a little girl looking at Justin Bieber)  We have had rain all day!!!! It started in the night really, I probably would have slept through it but the dogs kept running in wanting to be reassured that everything was fine, no booger bear was coming for them.  They were so funny, but not in that haha sort of way... more in that hmmmmm sort of way when you are tired and want to sleep but they were just goofy.  So the temperature has been low and it has been a blessing since we have been over 100 already. My yard is lapping up every drop since I haven't watered the grass in maybe a year? We are rationing water, which means we are down to watering only 2 hours per week, with some fines involved if you get caught watering on off times (or using a water sprinkler).  I, however have been pretty good about sticking to my no water policy. I will only water trees, since you have to have a couple of trees in your yard... I refuse to allow them to dry up. I have lost 4 rose bushes, 4 shrubs, and all my potted plants with exception of the crazy poinsettia from Christmastime. For whatever reason, it has new leaves sprouting

Off to bed with me now! I am sleepy, or my eyes are just really tired... oh the torturous things they do at the Ophthalmologist's office :{

Friday, April 20, 2012

Spring is here!!! Well, nearly Summer for us here in the Desert Southwest. The temperature was up in the mid-90s yesterday, but today.... we are looking for cooler temperatures (75) and the possibility of rain!!!   Rain is really welcome here, as we have been in a severe drought for a long time. Really long time I should say.  I would like to add that some people like the idea of living in a place that has blue skies everyday and perfect (well, nearly perfect) temperatures... well,.. I like that part as well, it is fun to be able to go out without worrying about whether you will be caught in a downpour or if the temperatures will plummet and you will be frozen. The problem with the weather being near perfect (and I do realize that Winter freezing temps and Summer boiling temps aside) is that you forget to appreciate the warmth and calm... and you also forget that water is a precious thing.
We here in the Western part of Texas are in what some would say is a desperate  situation.  It is. One of the lakes that we use for water is at 17% and the other larger lake is at 0.4%.... yep... that is a 0 before the decimal point. I haven't been out there to see it, I know it is a wasteland and I can't bear to look at it. The other smaller lake is not unusual to be so dry, it does that all the time, When it is full, it is full, when it is dry.... it is very dry.  So we are relying on underground sources to keep us wet. We can only use water outside for 2 hours per week, which will keep the trees alive, but I personally don't think it will help any of the shrubs at all... There is no washing cars, no filling pools, there is no allowing kids to play in sprinklers... One town has drilled wells to allow the city pool to be filled, another really small town has had their pool filled by well water for a long time, and I remember how cold it was, like jumping into a bath filled with ice cubes. brrrrrrr.

This type of weather does lend itself to anyone who likes to paint. My favorite time to take oils out is in the late Spring or early Summer... I love that you can paint outside with no interference from the weather, and that the oils will dry quickly and you can finish a painting really fast. I love that the sun is totally at your command. I love that it is bright and lovely and full of life this time of year.  We have a family of House Finches living directly next to our front door. The little alcove is perfect for them to stay out of the sun and wind and with the exception of my family, they have no one to bother them. I am going to paint them today... the four surviving babies and the Mom and Dad. The sun is bright, the wind is fairly calm, and I am aching to paint, I haven't had a chance to get out the oil paints for a long time... I have been preoccupied with fabric paints and sewing and jewelry making for so long... well, I want to paint so bad I can almost taste the paint... do you know that feeling? That feeling when you smell oil paint, you can almost taste how it is, how smooth and silky and how it glides across the surface, how wonderful it is?  No...maybe that is just me. I taste stuff when I think about it, and when I get near oil paint it is probably like what a connoisseur of fine wine feels by just smelling a  Domaine RomanĂ©e-Conti.  Just knowing that the experience will take you to a blissful place and make you almost heady.
Well, I am off ... I'll post a pic maybe of the finished product. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Busy as a beaver

I now know where that term came from... "Busy as a beaver". When you are spending all your time working on your house, you kind of forget everything else and work night and day getting the job done...
Well, I haven't been working on the house anymore but I have been working non-stop for the past two months. I have neglected a lot in my life that I swore I wouldn't take for granted, But you know how it is.
I had a booth in the Scottish-Irish Faire in Midland, Texas this past weekend, and it seems that this is the one faire that takes me the longest to prepare for. I suppose that it is closest to me that I attend and I want everything to be perfect... I also feel like... well, it is close so I can take everything that I have for the booth... ugh! I need to seriously get myself together if I am to have another booth there. I took three tents, 4 tables( I rented 4 more), fabric for all the walls of the tents, tablecloths for all the tables and I had tons of display items... probably half of what I took was unnecessary. One of the tents was unusable... two of the braces popped when two friends helped us set it up. I am not sure how it happened but it was going to be unstable if we tried to use it so we did without it.
As it turned out, I could have used one less table, as I sold enough to take it down anyway... and I really didn't need the extra space as much as I thought I did. I used a different clothes rack than I normally do to hang head garlands on... it worked so much better than my old chrome racks and though I know it is the same size, seems that it didn't take up as much room. My son and the dogs had their own space, which is now essential to us. The boy is getting where he wants time on his own, and the dogs are just big and lazy and need the room to lay about. Elka didn't get to stay in the arena long, she is not trained yet and is too much for me to handle. Mac... he lays right in the middle of it all...
I had a lot of problems, mostly on my own account ( I forgot the ladder which was essential  from hanging lights to putting up the walls of the tents.
I sold enough to make myself happy, but not enough to convince me that it is worth the effort... If I take so much time and effort into the way the booth looks, I am losing time that I could be working on jewelry or boxes, or head garlands... I am sure that I didn't have enough dog collars or dog jackets, but I will try again to organize myself.
All in all, I saw a lot of friends, listened to a lot of great music, and did a little shopping of my own, so I guess I am happy with the outcome of the weekend...
 Maybe I will forget how tired I am and sign up for another round of festivals... maybe.

Monday, January 16, 2012

No snow, but a holiday

Today is MLKjr day, and there is no school, the college is closed, we are all being lazy here. A front is going to move through in a bit and it will bring with it lots of strong winds, so we have battened down all the loose stuff outside and hope that it doesn't bring a dust storm. There were a lot of wildfires all around us this past year. Thousands of acres burned, fences, houses, livestock gone. That coupled with the severe drought we have been in, makes the perfect environment for the dust to come in full force with any front, from any direction, today it happens to be from the North.

This is a picture from a friend taken from the air in November, one of our memorable days recently. I can't describe the way it looks from the ground, I haven't been able to take a picture that really shows what it looks like. My mother has a photo from when she was a child, back in the Panhandle of Texas. The photo of course is in black and white, so it is very dramatic, the front of the weather pattern is accentuated by a very tall very ominous cloud of dust that is literally black. She said that she remembered them being very dark, almost black. Here it looks like a very dark reddish brown, and it is kind of scary.

So I am finishing up a pendant (which now that I look at it in the picture, I see some real problems that I missed), that has been just waiting around for me to have a few minutes to work on, and maybe finish the necklace that goes with it.  The Gee's Bend is still waiting...

 Later on today, after we have had lunch and maybe read a bit, I am going to tackle the workroom. It has been long in coming, and I am a messy person when I work on anything...

I will not post a picture of the rest of the room, it is just way too messy... but will try to get it back into shape while I have a quiet day.
messy worktable
messy shelves
 OK, it is really messy, and I don't apologize about it, I am just really a mess. When I start working with beads, It is if I am in the Twilight Zone and I lose all time and space, and I really don't mind that. Sometimes I have to set the alarm to go get my son or to do some other task. Sometimes a friend will call to remind me! Yes, it is that bad!  When I work on metal, it is worse. On the desk there is a bunch of little pieces that I am working on, they are links in a bracelet and matching necklace that are just a mess until you get them put together, and I just thought about it,.. I could put them together as I work and it wouldn't be so sloppy... but you know? I kind of like to be able to put components together and move them around and see which one I like better as the focal point, So I probably won't change the way I work, at least not anytime soon!
Back when it was a nursery
This room used to be the nursery... well, before that it was my husband's office. He whined a lot when I moved out all the furniture and his collectables and deemed it the nursery. He really whined a lot, but he loved every minute of it. He would bring his family and friends in to see the way it was progressing, just as he would show off my ever growing tummy and say..."see? This is what I did! "... haha, he really loved finally being a Dad.  When our little bundle of joy arrived, he was even more proud, he would take him everywhere, and for the next 6 years, the two of them were pretty much inseparable.  I joked that the only reason that my husband took our son anywhere was because the little one was a "Babe Magnet". My husband didn't argue! Girls used to flock to see him and want to coo over him and touch his little dimpled hands and dimpled cheeks. What a kid. My husband capitalized on this at every chance as well. He really enjoyed the girls being around and giving the attention. He and I were well passed the jealousy thing and I never minded that he got a lot of attention!

I really miss that. My son really misses that. We are kind of adrift now, and I am not sure we will ever find a calm port, but I think that time heals, and someday... who knows.

Enough sadness for the day. Time to cook lunch and tackle the "room".

You know, I had plans of when the kids were older they would move into the bigger room and I would turn the nursery back into an office.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Life, and all that comes with it

I started my Gee's Bend bracelet and didn't get very far. My sister called and then my son came in frozen and it was suppertime and then... movie time. Well, I didn't get back to it, instead I started something that I can do mindlessly while I am on the phone or 'watching' a movie...another project for my class, I think that it is easy enough for a beginner, 6/0 seed bead with 11/0 trim and varied glass beads for decoration... The glass bead is part of the clasp.  I like doing this kind of beadwork. I sit by the pool and watch my son and his friends play and make bracelets one after another. This necklace is 22 inches without the clasp. It is kind of rough, but I was holding the phone with one shoulder.

Usually I do three or four different necklaces of one style that I am going to teach, one with the beads that the class will use, one piece with smaller beads that will show a more delicate look, and then one with something totally different like triangles, just to show you can use the same pattern as something different. The first is usually just a quick project that I think about and just do, Sometimes I actually sit down and sketch out whatever it is that I am going to teach, but really, I usually just do whatever pops into my mind, then sketch it out and label it. Kind of backwards I suppose, but really this is how I work.  I don't like to feel constrained to one design, if I don't like what I am working on (unless it is something specifically asked for) I will just change in midstream and do what feels or looks right. Not many times have I changed what I am working on after it is finished.

Well the snow is all melted (except the snowmen and a few drifts  and in the back of my truck) the official count was 10 inches, but it may have been a bit more at our house, it is hard to measure when it comes down the way it did. I'm hoping for another snow day, but doubt it will come anytime soon. Think we already got our share, plus,  this winter. This is selfish of me I know, I like having my son home, and I like the opportunity to bead or paint if I want to. The idea of not going anywhere is really nice, but then life catches up and you have to emerge from the den and get on with worldly duties.

The Gee's Bend will wait another day, because I really want to make it exactly the way it was designed, not how I might change it... and I will have to sit down and look at the instructions and diagram of "blocks". It looks like fun, and while I don't use tile beads often, these are really pretty. I prefer to work in 11/0 and 15/0 seeds and 11/0 triangles. I love the look of the triangles in  flat ribbons of peyote stitch. I don't use them to weave, but I think they would look really cool probably. I am really stingy with all the triangles that I get and haven't tried yet.  I am stingy because we don't have a good bead outlet near where I live and have to buy when I go to Dallas or order on line, which I prefer buying while I can see the beads... like fabric, I want to fondle it before I buy it :)

Monday, January 09, 2012


Snow day today!!! Yipee!!! Wooohoooooo!!!  We had a front move into the area last night and brought the most beautiful big flakes our way!!!  It hasn't let up at all today, and we have about 6 inches so far! I suppose my overwhelming joy is baffling to some, but you see, I live in the desert Southwest so this white stuff isn't all that normal for us... especially since we had a white Christmas, something that isn't very common here and happens every 10-20 years.
Sooo, I have stew on the stove and hot chocolate for the 9 year old that got to come home early from school ( I know that is baffling as well, we don't have school normally when it snows) and I am about to start on a new bead project as I am just finishing up some of the pillowtops for my "Tooth Fairy" pillows. I won't do any stitching or beadwork on them today, and I think the paint is pretty much done and I am itching to do a new project anyway!!!

I bought a Gee's Bend Cuff bracelet kit at the Beadfest in Arlington, Tx in October and haven't had the time to sit down and start on it yet. I started to work on it the last of November when i went to Alpine, Tx for the Artwalk ( I always take a project or three to work on when I travel), but decided to put it away until I was snowed in or something and could do the project all at once. Well we had wonderful snow on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day but I was a little busy with my daughter and grandson visiting and my son and bestest friend here, and I didn't want to be really selfish and hide away working on beads (well, part of me wanted to)... 

I wasn't expecting to have another chance to be shut in the house for a while, but the schools have cancelled extracurricular activities this evening, the colleges have cancelled evening classes, a lot of businesses are shutting down (ha, another baffling idea for anyone who lives where there is snow), so we are officially snowed in! 

So here goes, this is going to be fun!

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Bead Soup Blog Party

This is a link to the Bead Soup Blog Party.
What a neat idea... you send the few required items (beads and findings) and receive similar items, then you  photograph the items and then make something out of them and photograph that and share on your blog. What could be more fun? getting some beads in the mail and you can create something special!! 

<a href=""><img src=""  alt="Bead Soup Blog Party" width="150" height="254" /></a>

Creating Interest

Today is the first time I have really allowed anyone to look at me as what I do and think, I mean that I am opening up what normally would be only available to friends. I am writing a blog for public view for the very first time. All blogs before this were only for myself or for dear friends, and sometimes some of the general friends that I have. There have been blogs on what I do and what I make and how I feel and how I am pinning and how lovelorn I am... 

This isn't going to be one of those that I ramble on and on with the subject of my feelings unless my feelings are related to my artwork. Yes, I consider myself an artist, whether you will is another story. Lately I have found that not only is art in the eye of the beholder, I have found that being an artist is really in the eye of the community, the artist community that is. Whether you are accepted or not is quite the crapshoot. Some people are willing to accept and some are condescending and unwilling to allow one be free with their expressions, and then there are those that I don't see as being artists... beauty is in the eye...

So, I have painted since I was a kid, loved it, and wasn't very good at it, but still had fun with it. I don't paint much anymore, but still use paints with my fabric art. Oils, acrylics, watercolors, it doesn't matter to me what medium I work with, it all feels the same to me... sometimes though there is that overwhelming urge to get out the oils, just because they smell so wonderful and make you have creative thoughts just by the smell alone. 

The past few years have brought a fascination with beads my way, the making of jewelry kind of came about with the need for a necklace to match an outfit. I had a dinner to go to and had some beads that were of no use really other than being leftovers. They were the right color so I strung them with some seed beads added in a braided manner and called it a necklace. I got a lot of really nice compliments on it, and even was told that I should make jewelry and sell it. Imagine my surprise! Something that I literally threw together and people really liked it. That is when it started I suppose, that I really thought maybe I could do something other than sew. 

Don't get me wrong, I love to sew, and I have made over 100 quilts and sold many of them. I love to make clothes, especially little girls clothing. I missed out on having  a bunch of kids ( I have one girl and one boy) and always wanted to make little frilly dresses. So I sew. From baby booties to intricate quilts, and just about everything in between... I love to sew. But this bead fascination has always run around in the back of my mind, through my work in (or rather on) quilts. 

I learned to bead from my grandmother. She was a powerhouse when it came to anything creative. She sewed, she quilted, she crocheted, she knit, she beaded, she did just about everything creative. I was always in awe at the pieces that she made, not just any old thrown together item, they were all works of art. Her stitches always even and measured and her choice of patterns and colors were always impeccable. My grandmother's work is truly beautiful even today, never out of date, always classic... that is what I want for my work. Sometimes I fall short on that... 

Admitting that sometimes you do work that is dated, or fad is kind of hard. There have been some pieces that I cringe over when I see them or think of them. Some are products of the '80s which sometimes we all wish we could forget like the hairdos and the parachute pants... ugh, but then there are the really nice pieces that I am proud of like the old door panel that I salvaged and painted, that turned out really nice and sits on my fireplace still today. OK, some of the stuffed bunnies and dolls are a bit out of fashion, but really they are testaments to  the love of crafts and sewing that I have.

All in all, making things that you are proud of and stand the test of time is what it is about, which brings me to jewelry.  Making jewelry is really a release of creativity for me. The timeless pieces one can make kind of make me giddy. learning to make my own jump rings so I would have rings in the right color and size, well, brought me to metal smiting... What a wonderful release of energy, both creative and physical. Tapping with a hammer is very stress relieving! There is some primal satisfaction when you make something out of metal, some deep held need is met. Useful objects, silly art objects, all have this connection with our long fascination with the plying of ore. Man has made it an artform, but it has roots in need... I guess that is why it seems to fulfill me so much!

Learning cold connections and soldering has been fun and a challenge. Smashed, burnt, sliced appendages withstanding! First Aid kits are abundant in the house now, and there is a fresh supply of safety glasses and earplugs always kept handy. The use of hammers and torches has led to another passion- collecting tools. I always thought my father was odd, having a multitude of hammers that I thought did the same thing... OK, so I knew that a good upholstery hammer was necessary but after that, weren't they all the same? Au contraire, there are hammers for every job thinkable. If you want to flatten or shape, or harden or rivet... there is a hammer for that. 

The same theory for hammers goes with saws, punches, pliers, tweezers, and the list goes on... Needless to say, there is a full workshop now. But that is amazing and wonderful in itself. That there are specialized tools that make what you are doing so much easier, and they are available now to the general public. Some of these tools I never saw before I started taking classes and a few I saw in jewelers shops when I was allowed back to the workroom for a glimpse of what was being created...I love to look at new tools and old ones that are adapted to new needs...What is most wonderful about having a full workroom is that I feel like there is nothing that I can't do! Everything is possible and that all I need to start is to just start.

  I am going to post some of my work in the weeks to come, and I hope that if you are interested, you will follow along. There will be a little of all that I do, so maybe something will catch your eye... if not, just ask, I might have something hidden away that you will find interesting. Welcome to my world!