Thursday, January 31, 2008

No, I didn't get lost, just sort of side-tracked! I am getting ready to go to the beach with 3 of my friends for a mini 4-day retreat so haven't taken the time to blog. I do have some photos to share with you, though, and wanted to do that before I leave.

Ron took a picture of the Swarovski sequin 'splosion bracelet I've been telling you about but, unfortunately, it didn't come out so good, so I will upload one later.

Instead, I'll share the freeform brick stitch heart I created in Tina Koyama's workshop at Art & Soul 2007...

Tina, by the way, is an excellent instructor, fantastic artist and a very nice lady. I would suggest that, if you get the chance to take a class or workshop with her, jump on it! Here is a link to her

Ron won some online contests today, which included these photographs...The tulip is one from a bunch that my friend, Gwen, was so thoughtful to bring to me when she came out to play with our art projects last Tuesday. We got so busy talking that we didn't actually create much but it was a very fun day!

Be sure to read the label toward the top of the Red Rum bottle below closely. You are seeing the front of the bottle through the back of the bottle, with the front label reading backwards...

Anyone remember the movie "The Shining" and what was written backwards on the mirror"?

And, on that note, I'll say so long until I get back from the beach to share my experiences and hopefully some photos of the fun times with you!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

It is a bright, sunny, cold, crisp day so there is no excuse for me not to get out in the yard to finish up that last little area that needs tidying up but here I am anyway!

I met my friend, Jennifer, for lunch and a movie yesterday...We saw "The Bucket List" with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman. We cried & laughed through the whole movie, and we both thought it was even better than we thought it would be!

I haven't quite finished my Swarovski sequin 'splosion bracelet yet but here is a photo of a vintage sequin 'splosion bracelet I learned how to make from Bonnie Mountain in a class at Bodacious Beads some time ago...

This is a very fun bracelet to make...It has approximately 250 vintage flat silver, pink and green sequins with tiny little flat copper and green ones added on top of them for accent. Bonnie is an excellent instructor who always makes sure everyone not only understands how to complete the project but also that you have a great time while doing it!

Ron took a couple of really nice photos recently that I'd like to share with you. First a sweet lone sparrow enjoying the Columbia River in Oregon...

Mount Hood in Oregon...

And the recent very full moon and Mount Adams in Washington...

Which of the photos do you like best?

Going to have to make this short today...I am off to clear away some workspace & set up in the studio so that my friend, Pratiti, & I will have room to play with polymer clay tomorrow...And, of course, you know I'll be sharing photos with you of some of the goodies we make!

Monday, January 21, 2008

It's a really beautiful day (sunny & crisp) here, so I'm off for a walk to my local coffee house soon. Just wanted to stop by here to say hello and that I hope everyone had a pleasant weekend...

Saturday I started my sequin 'splosion bracelet using Swarovski crystal sequins, and it is very sparkly! I am having great fun with it, and hope to finish it this week...Seems like I hear myself say this a lot! :~)

Art House met Saturday evening, and we had lots of fun collaging on little heart pins that Sylvia so generously supplied for us. We used tissue and other papers, photos, paper place mats, golden wings, small buttons and a slew of other goodies on them. I'm still playing around with mine, and will share photos of them with you once they are done.

Yesterday I enjoyed an art supply shopping trip with a friend who says she has never done anything artsy/craftsy. We will be getting together this coming weekend to play with polymer clay. It's always fun to share an art or craft technique with someone who hasn't experienced it before!

Here are the photos Ron took this weekend of the vintage button bracelets I was telling you about...

The buttons I used in the top and bottom bracelets are diachroic, and sorry to say, you can't see the shimmer too well here. The top one is my favorite. Maybe because it was my first or possibly because I used smaller seed beeds to cover the jump rings. If you feel so inlcined, would love to hear which one you like best and why!

These were fun to make but a little rough on the hands because the jump rings that hold the bracelet together have to go through some fairly small holes in the pony (the bigger, black) beads. I tried making my own jump rings with a smaller gauge wire but the heavier gauge is needed for strength. I also looked for some pony beads with larger holes but haven't found any yet. Any of you out there know where I might find some?

Look at this wonderful photo of a Blue Heron Ron took this weekend...Looks like he/she is all hunched down trying to stay warm, don't you think!

Ok, off to take that walk and get my coffee drink now...Be talking with you soon!

Friday, January 18, 2008

The sun was out this morning when I woke up. What a glorious event! Those of us who live in the Northwest have learned to make the very best of the rare winter days when the sun blesses us with its company and/or it isn't raining! So I finally got out in the yard to do a bit of gardening I have been postponing due to the cold and rainy weather.

Speaking of gardening, here is the first 3-D piece I ever made from mostly recycled, found parts. I call her "Garden Muse", and she came to life so that I could gift her to one of my art buddies, Lenall, in our
Portland Art Collective recycled art swap last year.

Her base is a candlestick holder I enjoyed finding at the Goodwill bins, and which I patina'd (Is that a word?). I found her "head" along side the house where the previous owner must have tossed it. It is an old style metal sprinkler head for a hose, and I rusted it then coiled copper and gold plated wires and stuck them in the little holes to create her hair.

Garden Muse evolved from there as I took bits of this and that I found in the yard or in my studio. Things like earrings I had purchased at an antique shop, an old glasses lens sample to cover a stamped face image, "wings" from an old steamer basket, a half acorn shaped like a heart from the yard, etc. I either patina'd or rusted most of these items to help them look more aged.

Here is a closer look at her base...

The woman who received "Garden Muse", Lenall, is a wonderful watercolor artist, and here is a link to her

Here is a photo of the fantastic bird feeder made of 99% recycled parts that I received from Judi in the swap.

I'm off to tackle a small corner of my studio re-organization, so will say farewell for now.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

One of my goals is to start posting to my blog at least 5 days a week...I don't think this will be difficult because I really do enjoy it!

Amongst those things most precious to me is my dear, sweet (sometimes snotty) cat Mia. Here is a photo Ron took of Ms Mia for your viewing pleasure...

Anyone who has met Mia (or heard her in the background when I am talking to them on the phone) will attest to the fact that she is very vocal! She lets us know right at 5am, 12pm, 5pm and 10pm that it is time to feed her, and she continues to "talk" at us relentlessly until we do!

Ms Mia rules our home, and (like most cats) she can be the sweetest, loving kitty one minute and do 180 degree turnaround before you can blink! We love her, regardless, and have even postponed adding a dog to our family because we know she won't take to the idea much at all. Like I said...she does rule!

I have been thinking about other photos I would like to post here and, while digging into old computer files, I came up with a pre-digital camera photo of a seven foot mermaid who allowed me to bring her to life via paper mache when I was taking a 3-D art class several years back. Her name is Bernadetta, and I apologize for the poor photograph but you can at least get the general idea...

When I fist started this project, my plan was to make about a foot tall, red heart with short arms and legs that would allow it to sit on the edge of a table. I felt like I didn't have much say-so, though, as the heart began evolving into this very tall, very purple mermaid...Can you tell where the heart gave way to becoming Bernadetta?!

She was hanging from our ceiling when this photo was taken, where she resided until I donated her to the Y just before moving to Oregon. Bernadetta was to be sealed with a protective finish and hung from the ceiling in the indoor pool area where the kids take swimming lessons. I think of her from time to time, and hope she is being treated well.

Hmmm, the weekend is creeping up on us, and I hope Ron will find the time to take some photos of the three vintage button bracelets I finished recently so that I can upload them for you to see. Until then, here is one of the more intricate bracelets I really enjoyed playing with and watching evolve in 2007...

I learned this "Kandra's Ripple Bracellet" pattern from a great instructor, Bonnie Mountain, who teaches at Bodacious Beads in Hillsboro. This is the same pattern I used for the red and purple bracelet I shared with you yesterday. I'll be joining Bonnie again this Saturday to create a Sequin 'Splosion bracelet with Swarovski vintage sequins, and I look forward to sharing it with you sometime soon!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

A very happy, healthy, creative and prosperous New Year is in my thoughts for us all, and 2008 finds me re-organizing my studio. Once this is complete, I will start giving the garage a shakedown to make room for some bigger, messier work I want to do this summer.

Ron, has really been enjoying photographing wildlife...He found a couple of Osprey nests this summer not too far from home, and we enjoyed going out and watching/taking photos of the parents feeding and caring for their offspring and watching as the chicks learned to fly and hunt for food on their own. The photo below of a young Osprey shaking the water off of his feathers after having unsuccessfully plunged into the river for a fish is one of my favorites. If you'd like to see the whole pictoral story of him learning to hunt for his own food, go to

Ron is also currently taking photos of some Eagles and their nests...I will post photos later.

He is also participating in a photographic scavenger hunt through an online group. One of my favorites of his shots on the hunt list is this one of grape candy...

As for me, I am making very slow progress on getting my studio re-organized...I have so many thoughts in my head about creative projects but don't seem to be able to get past the part about getting organized so I can start making them a reality! :~)

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Welcome! This is my first blog, and I have to say I feel a little intimidated but here goes...

I am a mixed media artist & crafter who has enjoyed being creative through choreography, hand-built ceramics, graphic design, Soul Collage, precious metal clay, printmaking, collage, paper making, paper design, acrylics, recycled assemblag
e, and recently, beading.

I really love putting different shades of colors or different colors, textures, sizes, and shapes of beads together to create a piece of jewelry that can help a woman feel more beautiful and playful when she wears it.

The Portland Art Collective is a group of 25 woman whom I feel very fortunate to be amongst and who continuously inspire, support and challenge me. We experienced our 1st annual "Open Doors 2007" show and sale on Dec 7th and was a lot of hard work, a whole bunch of fun and very successful! Here is how it looked just prior to the front doors opening...

This is how my display of goodies looked...

Art House is another group I enjoy...we meet once a month for a demo led by an attendee who wants to share her artsy knowledge with others. This is where I was invited to facilitate a Soul Collage session, have been reminded how to make polymer clay canes, to creatively cover a journal with embossed metal tape and to make a bracelet with vintage buttons...what creative times I have had in 2007!