Wednesday, August 14, 2013


I used to like kids.

I do still like my own.

I just don't like other people's kids so much. I used to, We used to have a house full of kids at any given moment, my daughter was pretty social, and I had Brownie and Girl Scout troops, and I just adored kids. My sister has three, my brother, two, other brother 3 and they all have grandkids of all ages now. I have kept to some degree all of them and if it be known, I envied them. I wanted to have a bunch of kids... I had one daughter.... and that was it forever... She wanted a baby brother or sister forever... and it just didn't happen.

It took me 21 years to finally deliver her a baby brother and she gave me a grandson two years later, so I finally had two kids at once.  I guess that is why I didn't mind having tons of kids over at the house. I just wanted a big family. I always wanted a big family. Until now.

My daughter and grandson moved away and I just about died. I couldn't imagine a life without her, and never thought I would ever not have him. I had kept him for the first five years of his life. Him living here with us for a lot of that time, and it just seemed that it was just crazy to be without him. My son was devastated. It was really hard on him that his father passed away, but losing the only thing he would ever have that was as close to a brother he would ever have... that was just heart wrenching.

So we got over the shock pretty quick, and visited often, and had him here over the summer... but it is still difficult to let him go. My daughter... not so much. She is an adult, and after the first shock of her moving away... it was ok. She has talked about moving back, but really, I would discourage her until my last breath. This is just not a fit place for anyone, and I would gladly move away if I could.

Anyway, I let my son have kids over as often as I can. I just have a hard time with kids now. I don't know if it is because I am older and less tolerant? More than likely it is because I just don't like kids that much. More often than not, the kids that I come in contact with are rude, insolent, and just down right mean.  I think that is more the reason that I just don't like them.

I am pretty quiet, and I have a pretty solemn attitude. I laugh a lot at myself, and get jokes, but I don't make jokes a lot, and I guess I am a lot like my father with a dry sense of humor. He would be proud! I get the obscure and odd jokes and I hope that I have passed that along to my kids, and my grandson... but I just can't seem to connect with other kids... kids that don't 'get' Monty Python or Mr Bean... or don't like Mad magazine...
 I don't seem to connect with kids that are unwilling to try something new. I was raised in pretty small towns, and the grocery stores were rather lacking in items that were very exotic... but somehow my mother made some pretty cool food. Tabbouleh, cabbage rolls, kraut and dumplings, enchiladas, sliced jicama and exotic desserts. Most of my friends never had things like that. Not the varying types of  food... usually they would have something very bland and indifferent.  I hated eating at friends houses, because they usually had something boring.

When I got married, and started a family of my own, the meals at our house usually were different. I tried to learn to cook, at least more than what I knew already, spaghetti and tacos mostly. We weren't well off, and I had a tight budget, very tight budget. My husband had two kids from a previous marriage and they lived with us for a time, and had nieces and nephews with us a lot, so... I had to make the meals stretch...  The nieces and nephew all had favorite meals and I would try to make something for them that they liked. One niece liked fried pork chops and gravy with mashed potatoes... another loved either Chinese food... egg rolls, stir fry, fried wontons and egg drop soup... or her second favorite was a big Chef Salad... my nephew, liked a casserole that I made a lot but never named. Someone donated a cookbook to us one time ( a backhanded way of saying that I didn't know how to cook at 20) and it had this intriguing casserole that I knew wouldn't fly, not because of the ingredients so much but of how it was put together... so I altered it. The kids loved it.

So, the truth is, I started trying to make dishes that were different, that the kids would eat, that wouldn't be boring... yes, we had the obligatory beans, cornbread, and friend potatoes... my ex didn't want me to vary too far from this... but  I didn't want to be one of those moms that made meatloaf on Tuesday and roast on Sunday and very limited else the rest of the week... I wanted my kids to know what it was like to eat something different, something new. And once again... we lived in a small town, so it took some doing to get ingredients. The results were great,  I love that my daughter likes varying foods. I love that my son and grandson love to eat weird stuff. If I cook it, he'll try it, and more times than not, he likes it... My son went to a Jamaican restaurant and loved it, hesitation... we eat at Prince every time we get a chance... it is Lebanese. While we were traveling, we tried to eat as much of the local food as possible. Oh, yes, we did have a Chinese buffet every now and again, but mostly we tried the local fare from locally owned shops, one fish and chips  shop was a friend of our friend, his dad had owned the shop and he took it over so it was a local favorite for years and years... and the best fish and chips I have ever had. We had kebabs and fish and chips and fried haggis  (Yes, fried)... black pudding (not something I want to eat every day, but my son liked it). When we went to France, we had pate and crepes, fresh cheeses and cream while in Isigny from their local creamery, and some very nice dishes that I can't tell you what it was!!!   Ezo in Bristol was my son's favorite... he loved the Lamb and when they served the fish, head to tail... he was fine about ti... Stuffed grape leaves? no problem...

Some of the kids that my son is friends with won't try anything. I made pork chops and linguine alfredo and one of his friends just about gagged and wouldn't eat. I made salad and chicken breasts one night for a friends kid... and he wouldn't eat. He didn't like vegetables. He didn't like chicken except chicken nuggets... when my son goes to his house, he comes home starving. They eat pizza... and that is about it.

My son had a friend sleep over last night. He is a sweet kid, I don't mind him coming over. He doesn't say bad things... he doesn't curse... he eats what I put in front of him, even if it is just a few bites... and he doesn't tear up the house... That is a kid that I like/ We have had kids that I would rather strangle than to look at 'em.  I think that I am less tolerant that I used to be, coupled with the fact that most kids are just raised differently. I volunteered at the school for a while, and the kids were horrid. Most of them had parents that were just absent...even if they were there, they were not there... drug addicts, alcoholics, and just inattentive parents. I felt sorry for the kids... and that should make me want to help them more... but it doesn't.

Maybe it is that we have dealt with so much in our home... so much pain and anguish that I just don't want to get close to people that have so many problems. I have backed away from volunteering at the school, it was just taking a toll on me mentally and physically... and I just don't have the patience. I wish I did. But I just don't want to be around a bunch of screaming, mean, insolent kids that have no discipline. Is that bad?

sigh... I am not saying my kids are perfect... far from it. But at least they know if they are rude to someone... I will not tolerate it. If they hurt someone, there are repercussions to.  their actions... and if they won't eat something that they are missing out on a new experience.

Oh well, I guess that about covers my ranting today

No work to show, my eyes are really sore today, it is hard to do much other than scroll through facebook and complain on here... hoping to get back to work sometime soon. Please bear with me.

Monday, August 12, 2013

fixing my blog

When I looked at my blog a while back, and read what some of the people said about my work... well, about the colors I used... I looked at the blog and realized it wasn't me. I mean, it wasn't who  I  am... the look was nice and I liked the colors when I posted them, and the pictures I had taken were nice and pretty, but I looked at it with a different eye for the first time... and realized that it just wasn't me. It was the person that maybe I want to be??? maybe just they colors and pictures that I enjoy looking at, but they aren't me... does that make sense?   mmm. probably not, I am confused myself.

So I thought about what I love, and the colors that I love, and the colors that I have around me everyday, and decided that if I was going to be "me" on this blog... that I needed to make it look like me. I changed the colors of the background, and I changed the format, kind of... and some of the pictures... but I screwed up the ones that I kept... I don't know how I did it, but they all came out pretty small... and they look pretty awful. So I went back and tried to fix them, but nothing helped.

Today, I came across a picture of one of the fairies that I paint on everything from purses and totes to tooth fairy pillows and baby blankets... anyway, I thought it to be the perfect time to insert it into the side bar of the page, and replace the one that I had, that was tiny... I thought this would make it "fit" into the spot... well.. I told it not to shrink to fit it in... and it took up most of the page!

I went back and told it to shrink to fit... and it is the same size of the picture that I replaced.... Seems I can't make it a different size?

Mike and Grace's Anniversary Quilt, I wish it
was hanging straighter and was clearer so
you could see the beadwork and the
embroidery and needlework
I had stumbled on the picture of the wall hanging that I made my brother in law and his wife, for their anniversary, truly I had planned it for their wedding present, but there was no way to get it finished for that... who was I kidding... any way, I think I chose the colors around the red rose fabric. It was the fabric that Grace, my sister in law, chose for the little gift bags that she made for the reception, and it was pretty and nice, and I thought it would be kind of cool to make something out of it. I goofed around with this block... I think it is called East meets West...and thought it appropriate for their wedding... since he is from the West and she is from the East... and I did a larger hanging, but took it apart, now I wish I had left it larger... but I had decided that it wouldn't hang well, and that it was going to be cumbersome and they would never find a place to hang it... so, down I pared it... to this.

The only closeup
I need to go visit with
the camera. 
I wanted to post it, but figured that there was no way that it would show up if I put it in the side bar... so here it is...
 It is not a large piece, just 3'x5'... I wish I had a picture of the banner that I made for them. I will have to ask if they still have it and if they would be so gracious to get a pic of it... I am sure somewhere in the wedding pics there has to be one of it. I embroidered the sign for double happiness in yellow on red wool felt. I thought it came out nice. They used it as a banner in the gallery where they held their reception, and left it there for a while for the gallery to keep up, which pleased me.  They have this in their living room I think, at least that is where it was when I last visited... but they moved since then, so no telling where it ended up.

So then back to the blog, I realized that most of the work that I take pictures of, ones that I actually take a decent picture of... is with a dark background, and usually it is red, orange or some other warm color....what is up with that?  Why is it that I take pictures with colors like that? I don't like those colors... and I don't wear them much... and I don't know why I have so much material in those colors...except that I changed my booth from being draped in all white, with flower garlands around it... to a darker, warmer tent... since I don't make a lot of kids clothing and other items... I guess the idea was to go warmer, more mature... and I still do fairy wings... what's up with that?

 Even the flowers I put on my husband's grave are warm colors... but that is because they were the colors that he liked. On his Mom's grave next to his on the left... just out of shot... I do light colors for her. Usually white and purples, even in the winter, I try to do darker colors of purples and pinks. She liked purple so I guess that is why.
The old cabinets and wallpaper that I finally got rid of...
Now the kitchen isn't so horrible and dark... 
But that doesn't change why I seem to gravitate toward the darker colors... Is it just because they show up the jewelry better? or because they are more appealing when they are on the blog? Or is it because as I get older, my tastes are changing?  Maybe living in the house for so long with browns and darker colors... I am starting to like them? uuughhh! No, definitely not in the house. I have slowly but surely tried to take out the dark colors. It has been a long, hard journey at that, but it is finally coming around. I hate the dark colors... and the dog does as well. I don't see her on the floor even when I am looking down... she yelps when I step on her, and she moves over... sometimes she jumps up just because I am near... poor dog.

So, I guess I need to do more soul searching about what it is all about, this obsession it seems, with dark colors. Warm colors...

Saturday, August 10, 2013

How nice are you? or... are you trustworthy?..

piece that I did from Memories and Thanks Blog Hop
Saturday, afternoon now, a day of relaxing for me today. Ha, like that isn't what I've been doing since the end of May... My son and I are lounging around, him playing Minecraft and me looking around the pages on Facebook... ergh, hate facebook, but I look anyway.
I don't know how many of you are beaders, or how many of you 'know' Lori Anderson or follow her blog but I ran across her a year and a half or so ago... and signed up for the Memories and Thanks Blog Hop...I didn't make it the first year, but was happy when this year I got to participate. Then later I got to participate in the Bead Soup Blog Party, and I was paired with a lovely woman, Shannon Hicks from Falling Into the Sky blog  and we had so much in common. I figured that Lori must have known us both pretty well, but it turned out that she just "knew" who to pair us with. Lori is uncanny that way.... I enjoyed both of the experiences, even though I was in the middle of some turmoil both personal and family oriented and healthwise... But especially the Memories and Thanks was overall a very deep experience. I had to really think about myself, my family, my life... and I dug into the depths and came up with a blog and a piece of jewelry that I really was glad to have made. We just finished up the Bead Hoarders Blog Hop, and I had so much fun with that...
Shannons bag o goodies

Well... I guess that is where I am so confused now. Someone posted on the FB page, with Lori's permission about the person that the Memories and Thanks hop was for... seems that somehow, and I don't know all the details, this person that was supposedly dead, wasn't. Somehow this person that was supposed to have lost her mother, didn't...  Really, I didn't know all the details, and I don't need to... I guess from it you just take the lesson that you can't trust everyone... but... then Lori came back and was really upset with herself about it. Now... that hurts. She wasn't the one to blame. She was being wonderful, doing what she does best, organizing a bunch of people, to bring something wonderful about... and I feel really bad that it was her that was duped, and she is apologizing for it...

Somehow that is just wrong. She should never have to apologize for something that someone did to her. None of us hold her responsible. I for one am glad that I participated in the hop even if it was under false pretenses. It is the reason that I started this blog really... Oh, I had a blog before, but not on Blogger... and I didn't go into a lot of my work, and for crying out loud... Myspace did away with all the blogs anyway... what I am trying to say is, if I hadn't had the encouragement to start a blog so I could participate in that particular bloghop... I wouldn't be here, I wouldn't have participated in the BSBP and  I wouldn't have met Shannon, I wouldn't have been challenged... and I wouldn't have followed Lori on Facebook, and met so many other wonderful designers... so many of them are such great artists.

The knowing that someone has done wrong is hard to accept, and I have a hard time wrapping my head around why  someone would fake the death of a loved one... what is it that she stood to gain? I guess she gained some monetary  and products... but she has, in doing this wrong, lost so much more. She lost the friendship of not only Lori (who I don't know personally, but can say without hesitation to be a really nice person) and the potential friendship of so many more people... I don't know any of the people personally from her page, but I think overall they are all really nice people... I say I don't know them...  I may have 'met' some of them at one point or another, if they happened to attend BeadFest Texas... because that is the just about the only place that I get to go really... that I would meet jewelry makers... well, I do a lot of faires and festivals and meet some there... but... I don't remember people well, and if I don't have a name and picture to go with it, I don't remember people well... sorry if I have forgotten you... I don't mean to...

Anyway, I was looking through some of the comments today, and some of the women were pretty upset about the whole ordeal... I am upset that it hurt Lori, I am upset that it makes us all think twice about people that we 'meet' on the blog or FB or G+ or wherever... I guess we have to remember that we really don't "know" anyone... and that we can come upon someone that is bad... and never know it.
I have been warned a few times, about meeting men... sigh... When I changed my setting on myspace to widowed, then on to single... I got some weird guys sending me messages. I got one guy that was what I thought was nice He just wanted to be friends, and we wrote back and forth, never meeting.. but he ended up to be a cyberstalker, yikes he was pretty insistent and started texting me 20 times or more a day ... That was the end of that, and I told him I would involve the police if he didn't stop... so I don't ever give out my location, but really... how easy would it be to find me?

I realized with my business name that I could be googled...even though I don't have this business anymore... I don't change the name... mainly because I don't want people to "know" everything about me... I don't use my first name...but that is really easy to find... I go by my middle name, which I have always used... but I do vary the spelling of it... well... that isn't really anything other than I didn't want to be marie444 or something and a friend calls me Maire... I don't know why.... but it stuck... so I am Maire of Thistledown to most... but you don't know me... even if you google me, you will find very little about me. So how do you know if I am real? How do you know if I am me?

I guess you take me as I am... I take others as they are... Someone wrote that it's better to be fooled than to not trust. I guess that is right.

I just found out today that the person in the blog hop is from Tulsa... now, I lived in Tulsa when I was a kid, for a few years... that is where my father died... pretty quickly my mother moved us to Texas and that is where I live now with exception of the time I spent in England...I feel like that is a really sad thing, that maybe I know this person... but what would the odds be? I guess they would be really high to not know her... but there is that little odd that makes me sad. Tulsa is a pretty big town I was pretty sheltered while we lived there, but if she happened to attend pow wows or rodeos, or lived in Brookside or the West Side... I could have run into her... or maybe even, if she is old enough, gone to school with her... I guess that is really slim odds. There are a lot of schools there. I went to middle school and one year of high school before we left, but... there is that tiny chance... and it brings it home... you don't know people.

 Even if you do... you don't.

So far, my dealings on the internet have been very careful...I met a neighbor off myspace and we kept in touch for a while... and I met my friend Kev on the internet, kind of by accident, looking at festivals I ran upon his page and I can imagine that he thought i was stalking him!! Ha! but in the years that have followed, we have become great friends... even through some of the hardest times, he has been a great person, and I have learned to trust him... He and his family have taken me and my kids, and whole family in and treat us as their family. My son admires Kev and really enjoys the time we can spend together. I love his Dad and stepmom and his kids and enjoy the time we get to visit... But that is about the extent of close encounters from the internet...

 I haven't bought a lot on the internet. I have had really good dealings though. I bought something from a lady in England that has a FB page... and had it delivered to the cottage and it came out ok... I used paypal and everything was great. I bought a little purse from a lady in the States and had it sent to the house and it was  great, I payed with paypal...  I guess if you send items for a person, out of kindness... there is no way to guarantee that the person is true... that the person is representing themselves as what they are... How do you know?  I hate to think that we have to deal with everyone by checking up on them... I don't want to be checked up on... I have nothing to hide... but I want privacy... and no cyberstalkers like Bill was...

This is me... one of the only pictures I will post... and my son!

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

art or craft

Sunflower by Marie Covert
I was perusing the pages and came upon this blog in Beading Daily that really brings up the  question... is it art or is it a craft? I have been wondering that myself, as I have friends that are full time artists that actually look down at me because what I do isn't believed to be artwork... even when I am painting, which granted I don't do often anymore... it is not what would be considered as artwork... and my beadwork is thought of as just a craft, not a real form of artwork...

bead weaving and embroidery by Jo Wood
When I paint, mostly now-a-days, I paint murals or fabric, or posters or what ever it is that I am working on... people think that it is just not worthy as being artwork... even though some of my fairies are pretty intricate and beautiful, they are used for utilitarian functions... pillows, quilts, tshirts, sweatshirts, baby clothing....

So what do you consider to be art work?

I respect people that do jewelry, I respect people that do crafts, even though they might not be "art"... some of the "art" I have seen is not really what I would consider "ART".  I see people working on collages made from trash and think... well... it is a collection of trash, and maybe it is pleasing to the eye... so is a sink full of fruit and vegetables... is that art?
Battle of the Centaurianess by Teresa Sullivan

I used to be a docent at an art gallery, which was about as close to being around work that I love as I could get... The gallery had an exhibit of an artist that primarily did wood carving... he made large carousel horses and was very good at it. Some of his work included collages made from trash, and it looked like he needed some extra work to round out the show, so he threw together (in my opinion) a bunch of the same looking collages .. all out of trash, all looking very similar... and I thought, how disappointing.  I had expected something else... but what? I don't know exactly what I had expected, but it wasn't a bunch of the same cookie cutter work. That is what I do, for crying out loud.

Mobius by Tina Koyama
In all honesty, because I sell a lot of work, and it is utilitarian, I do a lot of cookie cutter work... But... all of the fairies that I paint are different, they all have their own personalities and features... I don't know why, but I feel like each one is their own entity, even though they all look very similar.  Maybe all the murals that I do might have something in common, but they are all different... all the posters that I make are different... all the tshirts, sweatshirts, jackets...purses,  baby dresses, anything that I paint on is a bit different, even if I use a stencil to make the original design, I go back and hand paint that as well... so I think of it as artwork. I personalize everything, even if it is cookiecutter....
Bead sculpture "Annette" by Tina Koyama

So when I do a piece of jewelry, or a quilt, or whatever it is that I am working on, I put time and effort and thought into each piece. Even the head garlands that I make or fairy wings... each is different, each is unique and each has a bit of me in it. So, I think of what I do as artwork... yes, even the head garlands... they are something that is useful, functional, and has purpose, but they are for hanging on the wall as well... for being pretty, even after they are worn... they serve as a decoration, a thing of beauty...

What makes a piece of art... art?

Bead sculpture "egg basket" by Tina Koyama
is it the beauty? no.... the guy that won the competition a while back on America's next artist or whatever the name of the show was...  submitted a painting that in the end (excuse my language) he ejaculated on the piece... Is that art? To me, in 100 years, a canvas that has a well executed painting of a circle, one that has even brush strokes, beautiful colors of paint and is framed well... would be a nice painting, in 100 years.... a painting with a stain is just a dirty painting... needing to be cleaned off. Does it have significance? Not to me. To me that isn't art. That might be a statement, but not a piece of art.  Like that "artist" that has a statue of Jesus or crucifix, whatever the item was... in a jar of urine... that is a statement, but not art.

Art Quilt Moon Glow by Barbara Olson
I prefer realism in artwork, but I also appreciate abstract, I also appreciate dimensional artwork,  sculpting, beadwork, quilts... they are artforms that are pleasing to the eye... but there are some that are just not appealing to me. That is ok, and I wouldn't say that they aren't art.  Isn't art in the eye of the beholder? What I consider to be a statement, another person deems art... so... why is it that people that create a piece of beautiful jewelry, or a piece of beaded sculpture, or a beautiful quilt are called crafters?

Traveling kid... come to visit us in the desert... My grandson's artwork, and my son's humor  This is a cutout of what my grandson thinks he looks like. He sent it to us to take some pictures with around the area... the snake is a rattlesnake that has been to the taxidermist, my son thought it was funny