Friday, September 25, 2009

Me at 2

Well, not really, but Chris surprised me this afternoon when I got up with a little graphic he found in some of the magazines he bought yesterday at a ephemeral sale. They were magazines called Children's Activities & were from the late 50s. Lots of cute & fun graphics and ideas for all kinds of things. I loved the children's recipe section with little graphics of food or kitchen utensils. Also there were lots of cut out for paper dolls. I'm seeing some new mixed media projects coming out of all these magazines. But not for now. I HAVE been practicing RAW (right angle weave) from Marcia DeCoster's new book, and here I am...trying out new designs thinking of teaching at Byzantium. So I guess, yes! I am always designing as I'm learning. I really need to get ready for Tahoe.

I have to work tonight being the only Blood Banker there, off tomorrow where I really have to go to the Guilded Lily meeting, but will be dead tired as I'll not get any sleep before I attend. Go Bachelor food shopping Sunday & try to pack & get things together. Work Sunday night short staffed again! Then be in a frenzy Monday getting Rachel's Dream out the door to Nashville, shop, and TRY to relax before I get on that big plane to Reno. Whew...I'm tired just thinking about all this to do.

I got my dolls back from the IOLCC Dimensions in Dollmaking show out in San Diego. Didn't win anything, but then I didn't expect to. Just wanted people out in the West see some of my crazy beaded dolls. I was looking at the list of other doll makers, and WOW...just to be there among their stuff is amazing.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Wonder where I've been? Well, last week I was talking to my baby brother & he told me the family is on Facebook & if I want to know what they've all been doing, go there. I was reluctant, but he talked me into it. I can't believe how many people are there that I haven't "seen" in years! There are people from my old days when I owned Scottie Obsession & then people from Retreats I've been too, classes, and yes! all the new friends I've met here in the beading blog world. I've been intrigued with it all trying to keep up & making comments to my coworkers to make them laugh at me when I walk in the door at work. So, it is like a new toy. Bright, shiny, and occupying my time. Find me there as Dot Lewallen, if you want.

I have ONE MORE WEEK until I am in Reno & met up with my bestest buddy, Cynthia. I can't wait! We are also meeting up with Kate & Colleen from New Jersey who we met a couple years ago in Las Vegas at the WhimBead Retreat. I'm finishing up some earrings & brooches for the swap & this morning I found THE UGLY OF ALL UGLIES for the Ugly contest. It is AWFUL! It is a locket that I made in a class with Jean Bernard & it is terrible. I think all I need is a horribly monsterious picture for the inside and it is perfectly atrocious. I was going to take my Troll doll Beatrice with her son for the ugly, but they are just too darn ugly cute. There is a big difference there.

So in 8 more days I'll met up with all the gals from All About Beads & have fun, fun, fun.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

New Bug Bracelet

I had bought this Emerald Borer insect encased in lucite last month at the Ohio State Fair. I knew that it had to be some piece of jewelry, but didn't know what to do with it. Then I bought some great looking bug wings (yes! real bug wings) from Mary SeriousBeader's Etsy shop, and knew what I was going to do with them...a bracelet. Since I did the challenge for ArtBeads, I've been focusing on jewelry lately. With this piece, I used some dyed pig leather which really dulled my needle fast & broke three while I was working on it, but I wanted to use a base that was a little more durable. I glued the lucite bug down & did a round peyote cage using Japanese 11s & Delica seed beads. Then the fun! I grabbed a bunch of just random beads that were all sitting on my work table & began to bead. Everything was green, so I thought I'd use a different color so I peered at that bug which is a relative to the Emerald Ash Borer that killed out big tree out front. I saw those legs & they looked sort of a brownish cranberry color to me, so I looked in my stash from the garage sale & found exactly what I wanted. I used just a little of the cranberry color on the actually bracelet, but decided to off set all that green by using it as edging. I like it. I'll have to be careful as I don't want those wings to break...oh & I used some teardrops from the "Vacation" swap on All About Beads. Cathy23 sent some that reminded her of, they matched perfect with the Emerald Borer.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Announcement! WOW!

Sunday morning I was heading up to Akron to visit my friend Akron & to teach her, Mary, and Teresa the Trash to Treasure class. Before I was ready to head out the door, I checked my web site e-mail & to also see if any storms were going to show themselves along the route. I got this e-mail:

"2009 Fourth Bi-Annual

Theme: Earthen
Land of Odds, 718 Thompson Ln, #123, Nashville, TN 37204

Congratulations! Your Beaded Art Doll submission to the 2009 Fourth Bi-Annual All Dolled Up: Beaded Art Doll Competition was one of 6 semi-finalists chosen by a panel of judges, and which the panel felt best represented “beadwork and dollwork design” considerations! "

Let me tell you that I was dancing on air. If you've followed my blog in the past 9 months, you know I've been working on this project since way back in January when I decided on the doll form I wanted to use, practiced my needle sculpting techniques, and started to bead like a mad woman. I wish I could share a picture of Rachel's Dream with you, but the contest rules state that I must wait until m piece is put up on their web site in November 17th for official on line voting. 75 % of the judging is to be done there in Nashville, but the other 25% are for you all, the Internet audience. I'll definitely post the link when that time comes. I need to get her to Nashville by Oct. 7th, so I'll have some time to take her to the Guilded Lilie meeting on the 26th. And since I'm leaving on the 29 for Reno, I'll mail it out that Monday before. Ralonda who was the semi finalist in 2007 is also a semi finalist, and I heard that one other gal from Dayton beaded doll group has gotten the nod too. Small world, huh?

I've been off work since Friday trying to relax some since work has been too stressful this Summer. Like I said before, Sunday I went to Akron & had a wonderful time (as I always do with Pam), and Saturday I took Chris up to Lodi for Estes Radio auction. He came back home with a Element full of old table top radios to work on. That will keep him busy for awhile. Yesterday I took a trip over to visit my Mother & delivery her some extra tomatoes. Today, I have no idea what I'll do, but since I was up until 4am beading, I'm sure a nap is in my future. We use NetFlix which is fabulous for movie buffs like Chris & I. We watched "The Secret Life of Bees" last night. Chris knew nothing about it, but I had read the book when it first came out. Let me tell you all that the movie was fabulous. I loved the book, but this movie was bringing tears to my eyes. Even Chris loved it so much he told me we might have to buy it to add to our collection.

I don't know if you've ever watched a movie that triggers a past memory or not. I do sometimes, but this movie really got my brain to clean out the "back room" and bring out a gem of a memory to me. I grew up in LA until I was 15 when my parents moved back to a small Ohio river town. In LA, I grew up in a Hispanic culture & learned to speak Spanish starting in 3rd grade. Moving to Ohio especially SOUTHERN OHIO was a big shock for me. This was back in 1967 after the Civil Rights bill had been signed by Johnson. Now, I had never had one African American in any of my classes in Los Angeles. One Summer, I worked in the Neighborhood Youth Core program at the YMCA with two other girls from my High School. One of the girls was Carla & I only remember her name because she & I went to Ohio State together & lived in the same dorm for two years, but the other girl I don't remember her name (wish I could). We worked the locker room together, watched the children in the game room, worked the telephones, and did pretty much whatever the staff at the Y asked us to do. Carla & the other girl were Black. I had never ever been around Black people before. Carla one day after we'd been working together for a week asked me what was wrong with me. I actually told her & this was 1970 that I was afraid of them. She laughed & said oh well, they were afraid of me too. There we were sitting in the chlorine filled room with tears in our eyes laughing at our fears of each other only because of the color of our skin. Instantly my fear of others evaporated because of Carla. Now growing up in LA, I was exposed to so many other types of cultures, but I knew nothing about the Black culture besides what I'd learned from my parents or on television. Let me tell you that it was a huge awakening for me. I think that was the point in my life where I realized that I was my own person & could decide who'd be my friends and to not listen to my elders. Well, the memory that "The Secret Life of Bees" triggered was a hot hazy August afternoon in Southern Ohio which is awful if you don't have A/C & back then hardly anyone had A/C. I had gotten to the Y & Carla reminded me that I didn't have my bathing suit because we were suppose to monitor the pool that afternoon. I dreaded walking back home, but Carla's boyfriend was still sitting there in his car. He told me he'd take me home to pick up my suite & to bring me back. I was over joyed as I didn't like thinking about getting all hot & sweaty walking the 1 1/2 miles back home & then back to the Y. So I jumped in his car yakking away all the time. When we pulled up in front of my parents' house there was my Mother standing on the front porch with this look that made me curl up inside. She had gotten a call from some busy body telling her I was "seen" in the car with a Black man. I was so embarrassed with the way she grabbed my arm & turned to give that poor sweet young man who was only doing me a favor a look that would freeze. I told her he was only giving me a ride, but that was not enough for her. By then I told him to go ahead & go as I did not want a scene there in front of our house. I walked in grabbed my suite, and ran back to the Y crying all the time. You see, up until that time I hadn't realized how racist my family was. I was humiliated and could barely look at Carla's eyes when I got back to work. She pulled to the the side and told me her Mother would do the same. I hugged her & thanked her for being a friend. That was a moment. Like I said before, Carla & I went to college together & for the first year we kept in touch with each other spending nights eating pizza with her roommate & discussing all kinds of things that were happening to our world in 1972-74. I lost touch with Carla, but she's still inside of me. She taught me tolerance for those with narrow minds who have never seen all people as the same no matter the culture, the language or the color of their skin. I wish I could find Carla sometime & thank her for teaching me open my heart and mind.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

New blog & Swaps

I started a blog for Chris earlier this Summer, but haven't posted too much on it. Well, today he finished "Dance of the Electrons". He stands a foot tall & is made with vintage radio tube. Please click here to see MacRadioBot blog. He has me wanting to try my hand at doing more mixed media pieces like this.

I'm waiting to here if my piece called Rachel's Dream is going to be a semi-finalist for Land of Odds "All Dolled Up-Earthen Mother" challenge. The deadline for letting people know is next week, but I get really antsy. Also, I've been sitting on this doll without showing it off since back in February when I first started it. I'm not going to hold my breath as I'm getting use to rejection, but still I do hate this period of unknown. Meanwhile, dolls have been put aside & I'm concentrating on making jewelry. YES! I do make jewelry too. I want to have some pieces to wear at the Bead Unique Tahoe Retreat the first weekend in October. AND YES! there are a few remaining places. I can't wait. I'm flying in early to spend time with my bestest buddy Cynthia & two friends who I met at the Whimbeads Vegas Retreat over 2 years ago, Kate & Colleen. Also, I'm finally going to get to met Grace and Arline & a few other gals who I've "chatted" with over the years. Did I say, I can't wait? So, I do need something to wear, and I'm organizing a couple swaps for the group in the evenings. We are going to do an earring swap on Friday night & a brooch swap on Saturday night. I've got a few things made up already for swapping & if I have time I want to do more. Most of the beads used in these were from the garage sale I went to earlier last month at 1 Stop. Oh, FYI, the WishWish brooch is really a button I found while shopping for pajama patterns at WalMart. Oh yes, I'm going to try to make a pair of jammie bottoms for the Retreat. Chris asked me if I was mad...yes, yes I am?? but there are so many lovely fleece fabrics out there with outrageous patterns that I decided to take a deep breath, get the machine out, and sew. We'll see how that works out. LOL!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Last month, I got an e-mail from asking if I'd would accept free beads if I'd be willing to make something with them and to blog about it. Well, what would you all say to FREE BEADS! OF COURSE I WOULD. I chose some items from the Crystallized Swarovski Elements.
When I got the package last week, I decided on trying to make a Palm Doll which is a new class I'll be teaching at Byzanitum next month. I had decided for this project to use the Olive Cotton Yarn with the 3mm Olive crystals to wrap around the doll form giving it a fabric type of dimension, Then I was going to use the Mocca Diamond Leaf Sew on Cystrals as the focus pieces. I chose my favorite bone rondells along with a few vintage peals. I didn't want to use beaded hair on this doll so I chose three vintage sequins that I'd picked up on my trip last year to NYC. The Sew On Crystal leaf turned out lovely and combines with the fabric it gave that extra "umph" shining from either direction. I wasn't too pleased with the look of the Olive Cotton Yarn with the 3mm crystals though. I think possibly I should have used a different color as the cotton yarn was lost in the fabric pattern. I do like the possibilities with this and have some Cashmere yarn with crystals and a synthetic suede to try out on other projects. To the side is a great picture of the Olive Yarn...looks yummie, doesn't it?

Here is a picture of the little doll I created. She can be held in the palm or put a pin back on her & use her as a brooch. To give her additional sparkle, I did fringe off the bottom with 3mm bicone olive crystals.

I also wanted to make a flat fabric cuff bracelet with a Grecian focal bead that I bought off of Helen many years ago at an open house she'd had for the Ohio Beaders. I've kept it wondering what to do with it, when I found this African Tribal Mask fabric at a local Quilt shop. I didn't want to totally encrust the bracelet as I wanted those tribal mask to sneak out from behind the beading. So I chose to do a peyote cage around the odd shaped cab along with a few other bead embellishment techniques to draw the eye directly to the face. Then I decided to use the 12mm Round Hematite Buttons from with small czech silver flowers in the center. Then I pulled out some of the silver vintage sequins I picked up in NYC and started to scatter them all through the piece, but my EYES were drawn back to the EYES in the tribal mask. I knew then that this was going to be called "Hidden Eyes" so I went through the bags of stuff I'd bought at 1 Stop Bead Shop's Garage Sale and found small tiny pearls the size of the eyes. I then surrounded the eyes with black delicas. I really like how eerie this looks when on the wrist. All the sequins compliment the focal mask, but then deep down underneath hidden in the fabric are those eyes! I intend to wear this piece to the Retreat next month and made some earrings to go with it.

I've been thinking about these hidden eyes wondering wear all that came from. It is no surprise that when I really got to pull out the reason from my subconscious it was obvious. At work, we are having lots of turmoil as we cannot keep staff on our 3rd shift. It is like a "revolving" door with people being hired, taking 3 months to train, and then not even lasting a year before they move on. It happens all the time and in the 27 years I've worked 3rd shift, I'd say we've only had a stable staff for maybe 5 out of those year only because everyone wanted to be there. This year is even worse than normal as we are down over 1/2 of our staff. Next week we will only have one full time person scheduled to work when we need three people to cover the shift. I just take it one day at a time not trying to get upset, but just sitting back, watching the management and seeing how they are going to juggle the staff which is so low due to their cutting back last year when the economy crashed. My other coworker is MAD, UPSET, and ANGRY all the time wanting ANSWERS. He gets so mad some times I think he is going to have a stroke. I keep telling him to wait and stay calm, but he doesn't listen to me. I'm not saying some miracle will happen to make everything okay, but it doesn't do any good to be angry all the time. All it does is to make work unbearable for yourself and other around. So I've got my "hidden eyes" watching what is going on waiting to see how this fiasco can be turned around. I know only one thing, I'm NOT giving up the vacation time I've been given. I gave up three separate vacations this Summer to help cover holes in the schedule, but I'm not going to do that now. Also, I am NOT going to get angry about all this. It doesn't help. I made my suggestions to the Director this weekend, and tonight when I go into work, I'll see if she listen to me. If not...I'll keep low with my "hidden eyes" taking in everything not letting my "mask" slip off and get caught up in an ugly wave of anger. So maybe I SHOULD wear this bracelet in every night. I can look down, and see message my subconscious sent to me to cope. I'll get through this as I've gotten through all the ups and downs at work. It just gets harder every year with my coworker spouting hateful words all the time. I'm fine. I'll manage. I always do.


Friday, September 4, 2009

More about the purse

Wow, I never thought I'd get such great feedback when I was working on my purse. It was a real challenge to me, but I've learned so much. Thank you all for the great comments to me about it. I do plan on sending a picture of it to Bead & Button possibly for their gallery once I get back from the Bead Unique Retreat at Tahoe. I was surprised today when I got a e-newsletter from 1 Stop Bead Shop & they had a picture of my purse on their front page. I was pleasantly surprised. I guess this means only one thing...more purses! I have a big box of purses I've "rescued" from various thrift stores and antique shops thinking that someday I'll do more and now is my chance. I don't think I'll use the Lacy's Stiff Stuff like Sherry uses, but go back to my old tried & true-boiled wool felt or ultra suede. But I see at least one or two more this coming year. HEY! FLASH! Maybe I can do beaded purses for my BJP for 2010. Oooo that would be so cool, but don't know about the time commitment.

A picture for you. This is Bernard Bear. On Beaded Art Doll/Yahoo Group, I entered him in for the monthly doll challenge. The Challenge? Well, I took a funky Beanie Baby with those blank face and gave him some emotion or in Bernard's case some attitude. I've been practicing needle sculpting trying to figure out my own personal way or technique on how to give emotion to cloth and fiberfill. I really don't like to draw faces so much so I think if I can get more detail with a needle and thread with the emotion then the actually drawing of the eyes & coloring of the lips will just come naturally. LOL! And I just bought 50 more beanies as the thrift store for $5.00. I can't help it.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


Today is my 23 wedding anniversary AND my husband's 60th birthday. I could not get any time off these last couple of weeks for us to go anywhere to celebrate outside of Ohio. I even had to work last night so when I got up this afternoon & gave him his funky birthday present which was a monster mushroom from Then we went to Cheesecake Factory for lunch. To walk off those extra calories from the piece of caramel cheesecake we shared, we strolled through the Polaris Mall looking at all the new shops. I stopped & got some face cream & a new shirt. Then we saw that Yankee Candle was having a 4 day sale on votives. We burn their candles all the time & laugh about "covering the dog stink". They really don't stink, but there are times...we all know what that means! They had their Halloween display out & I bought a cute votive holder called head stacker. They had a huge graphic poster of the Halloween wedding votive holder & alas all the stores in Columbus are sold out. I asked if I could buy the poster. Clerk asked the manager & she said sure I could. She laughed & said she JUST hung it up an hour ago. I told her it was our anniversary & then she said definitely. So we bought it & brought it home. Walking through the mall everyone smiled at us. Hey who wouldn't! and the sentiment rings so true to us. Even though we've been married legally for 23 years, we've been together since 1977! I was 22 & Chris was 27...and yes! love at first sight. Chris didn't want his picture taken as he thinks he looks too old. I told him hey! look at me. I'm 55 & not a spring chicken plus I'm a chubby post menopause who cares if he has white hair & wrinkles. I still love him & think he's handsome.

Oh...and these are the three fearsome hoard I like to talk about. They are enjoying the left overs from the Cheesecake Factory. Fiona has the blue collar on, Arwen has the red collar, and Frodo is the black brindle Scottie begging for a french fry. They are FUZzY and all need some fur buzzed off. But they are so cute.