Thursday, October 29, 2009

My Giving back

(I had to delete the tutorial I first had up because everything looked blue. Chris converted my original .pdf file into a .jpg for me so hopefully it all looks good & NOT BLUE). dot

There are so many wonderful people out here on the Wide Wild Web (how I picture it in my head but without Artemis Gordon) who share so much knowledge & information that I thought I'd try my hand at doing a tutorial. I belong to a Yahoo Group called BAD (Beaded Art Dolls) which is currently doing a challenge called Beaded Stuff animals. I did a tutorial for them to get the poor unfortunate stuffed creatures sitting all alone on the thrift store shelves begging to be something pretty ready for beading or other craft projects. Hope this give you the itch to bead a beanie & join me in my obsession.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Dolls and Beads

Okay, what can be better than dolls and beads? Well, maybe vacation, and a 28 hour day! I'm back home and to work, but I wanted to finish up the doll I was working on this weekend in a class sponsored by Time for dolls. We had Barbara S. coming in for a two day workshop. Barbara & I drove out to Albuquerque 2 summers ago, and I really got to know and admire her, but I'd never taken a class from her. She is a fabulous teacher & if you ever have a chance to have her show you needle sculpting a face, it is a MUST! I got to visit with her & my friend Pam who started Time for Dolls with her friend Mary. Pam was nice enough to let me stay over night at her house so I not only got some premium dog time (with Barney), but we all watched Chocolat in her private theater...I got to sit front row. The last day in class I was lucky enough to win a doll that Barbara made for the club. She is lovely and sits on my bed. LUCKY ME! If you'd like to see some of Barbara's other dolls/patterns please check out this link to Dollmaker's Journey.

I really enjoyed making my doll Kiri Alyd. I took Barbara's original pattern and reduced it by 65%. I don't have room for larger dolls in my house & I do adore the small. I was able to finally learn to make clothes! Thank you Barbara! I've struggled with this concept since I've started, but she was patient with me & the sewing machine Gods made HAL cooperate, so I not only made pants, but a shirt and fur vest for Kiri. I didn't paint the eyes like others did as I like a more dimensional look and hey! I've got enough beads to make eyes for 100s of dolls, so I changed that also on this doll. His head is smaller too so I couldn't use a tibetian sheep skin for the hair as the pattern called for so I had some mohair wool that I got from The Black Sheep back at AFIC and just needle felted it. I also gave him a beard. The vest is from an old beaver skin coat that someone from the Guilded Lilies brought in. I thought it perfect, but did it every shed. I'm still picking beaver fur off of everything downstairs. I HAD to use to beads, so I outlined the shirt and the vest with a picot beaded edging. I really like him ALOT! I know I have a sword someplace to put in his hand & I might have to make him a crown so he can be the King of the Elves (oh yes! I do now want to make more of Barbara's elves in this smaller format).

Now for more beads! I really did enjoy the class I taught at Byzantium on the Palm Prayer Doll. I brought home the class example and finished up the doll that I use as demo for class. You'll also see the doll I made for the challenge & yes! there is a tiny glimpse of my Use the Muse III called Fire Moth. Just a peak of her face. I made her into a brooch to be worn as the contest calls for only jewelry.

So what am I up to next? Well, I think I really need to make more of those smaller dolls. I also bought Barbara's circus performers & I think they'd work well at probably 50% reduction. I still have the beaded stuffed animals for BAD to work on before I can "poke" them to bead on their own stuffed animals a little more. And I'm working on the Twinkle Twinkle class from Tahoe still. Speaking of Tahoe, I really have to get more of those pictures worked up to share with everyone. I'm teaching a flat cuff beaded bracelet in November at the bead store & I'm also teaching the Guilded Lilies the Palm Prayer Doll for free (they only buy a kit from me). Christmas is coming, so that has to be thought about. I really need to get some class samples made for next year to give to Roxie, and I have an idea for BJP 2010...boxes & secret treasures. Between that I need to get my dogs groomed, deal with work, and get this house ready for the Christmas party for the GL gals. Can we actually get someone to make the fun part of the day longer??? I wish.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Busy Weekend

Wow, what a very busy weekend I just got over. Started out with my working Friday night at the hospital. And it was one of those nights where you walk away & realize that you really do earn the money they pay you! I worked on one of our Chemistry analyzers for over 3 hours & got it running for day shift. YEAH. Then I took Fiona for her morning constitutional which made that very fuzzy fat dog happy. Got up @ 1 pm to go down to Victor's new house & help paint. It was so much fun painting...NOT! I forgot how much work it takes to use a roller even on a big long white blank wall. My partner was his son Isaac who though a mere 9 years old can out work anyone. Isaac was trimming, rolling the wall, power painting the wall, trimming, rolling...running all the time! The only thing was that he was NOT allowed on the ladder. Emily was in the front room painting & singing. She didn't know we could hear her but we were all in the very empty house & I must say her voice is lovely. Mellissa's Dad was there painting too & I hadn't seen him in ages. Cheryl took the boys down to the park for a bit so we could do some adult painting! Elijah wanted to paint, but we let him entertain us all. Vic wrote me today & said the painting is done! Yeah as I don't think I could hold another paint brush. He is such a wonderful Father. He wanted all the kids to help fix up their new home...kinda like my Dad was with us. We all knew he had to go back & "fix" what we did, but he did let us help. I'm hoping they are in their new house by Thanksgiving. They all deserve this beautiful new house.

Sunday was up & out to Byzantium. I do love teaching there so much. Never thought I'd ever say that, but I do. I had returning students & it wasn't so much like a class as a get together of friends laughing & beading. We did the Palm Prayer Doll class with an emphasis on breast cancer awareness ( I donated a pin for each doll). Had 7 in the class with the 8th person stuck in the Columbus Marathon traffic. I think we all totally forgot about this event when the class was scheduled. I did get to me the missing student & wanted her to go ahead & jump in, but she declined but asked me to do another doll next quarter. Did I say I had a fun time? Oh yes...Caroline, Andrea, Carol, Karen & Pam all had me laughing, and I did a fringe "booboo" in front of them. I tried to pull the "dog sleeping falling off the bottom step & jumping up I meant to do that", but I couldn't get it past them. I'm going to be doing I hope three classes in the Winter at Byzantium. I'm going to work on another bracelet, earrings this time & a pendent. Oh...and a first for November class which is the Deco Diva soft bracelet is FULL! Now, I did something kinda bad....I saw this lovely silver bracelet in the display counter calling my name & decided to just sign my teaching check back over to Roxie. Hey, at least now I can look down & see what I get for having fun & teaching.

Yesterday, Chris wanted to do some photo taking of the Fall colors & boy did we hit a big BINGO! We got up when it was DARK...went over to Mimi's Cafe for breakfast & got to Highbanks (Columbus Metro Parks) just as the Sun was coming up over the hills. We'd had a mild frost and everything was covered with a thin sheet of ice. I think the lack of light made most of his pictures come out a little off, but they are all still inside my head! Here are a few pictures Chris took of Highbanks Park. We are so luck to live here in Columbus Ohio where our Metro Parks are very diverse and plentiful. Our favorite Metro is Highbanks not only because it is 5 miles away, but because it reminds us of the rolling hills of Southern Ohio. The Olentangy River borders the Park & we managed to get down to the banks and follow it through the Park. OMG, I'd never been to some parts of that due to the over growth, but to be down on the banks of that River with the Sun creeping over highlighting the small cascades with silver while the birds all sang and the tinkle of the bright yellow and orange leave were in the background. That is Ohio in it's most lovely dress for Fall.

This week is going to be a tight one too. I'm going to Akron on Saturday to take a class & have so much to do even before I leave. No, I haven't done my homework yet for the class! Naturally. And I really really really need to bath Mz. Fiona-Stink-Dog! She has over active sebaceous glands & is one oily stinky girl. And, I want to bead.....waaaahhhhh...I'm still working on the pinwheels from Beki's class from Tahoe...I want to bead......

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

One day left! and face....

There is only one day left for the Pink Artist Quilt Raffle. Go to my button on the side or click on this link to donate & view the lovely quilt & all the other prizes being donated & given to this worthy cause. Pictures of this quilt were in the Art Quilting Studio magazine & I think anyone would just love to have this in their home. I know I would & no dogs allowed on it!

Yikes, I had to go to the Emergency Room last night when I was at work. I woke up from a nap with my ears burning & a little redness too my neck. I took a non drowsy Benadryl & went to work. By the time I went in, my ear lobes were bright red & burning and the inflammation was going up my face to my cheeks. After 2 hours at work, I could feel the heat coming off my face & my eyes were watering, then I got scared when my throat started to feel scratchy. This is one of the times when I'm so happy to work down the hall from the Emergency Room there at St. Anns. I told one of my co-workers who hadn't seen my face at all (I was hiding it with my long hair) what was going on. She said I looked like I had a bad Sun burn. ER admitted me with severe allergic reaction, and gave ma steriod IV with Bendryl. By then, my lips were swollen & so were my eyes. The ER was so busy, but they all gave me priority (once again thank goodness I worked there). Dr Prall who I talk to on the phone all the time said it was a shame we had to met face to face like this, but she was great checking up on me & laughing when I laughed. I was so drowsy from the Bendryl, I came home but called Chris before I left. Once again luck here as I only live 8 minutes away, but I had the window down with cold air keeping me awake. I crashed so hard when I got home.

Now, I'm awake & my face is still swollen, but the inflammation at least doesn't burn or have heat. My ears are just irritated, and my neck is still red. I have a prescription for oral Steriods & if they don't work, to my personal doctor. I have no idea what caused this. The same thing happened to me in Squaw Valley but on a smaller scale. I have no idea what is doing this. I'm using the same shampoo, soap, face cream. I didn't eat anything different yesterday, or do anything different. I'm not allergic to my dogs, but they might have brought in something...but how did I get this is Tahoe too. So, if it happens again, I've got to go to an allergist at least to get an epi pen as the ER doctor said it might be worse next time. One of the nurses told me another nurse almost died when a patient came in with Teak Oil in her hair & caused the nurse to have a severe reaction where they had to tube her. Okay, so I'm scared now. I'm going to be really diligent about this allergy & try to figure out. About the only thing that I can connect with what I was doing in Tahoe & yesterday was that I was working with the resin Magic Gloss, but Chris checked out the website & it said non toxic. Still, next time I use it, I'll wear gloves & wash everything really really well just in case. Sucks having allergies.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Pictures of Earth Mother

I just got a message from Warren from Land of Odds, and he told me that I could definitely post more pictures of my Earth Mother:Rachel's Dream here on my blog. I'm hoping later to devote a full page over on my website once I get things together & do some major work on it as we haven't touched it for two full years. Okay, so here she is...Rachel's Dream.

I've been doing recycled themes this year & I haven't missed incorporating items even in this big challenge piece. The actually base of this work is a $2.25 butcher block cutting board that I got at the thrift store. I also used vintage pieces of jewelry that I bought at a flea market, a beanie babie (blue jay!), and buttons from a coat.

Rachel is dedicated to Rachel Carson who wrote Silent Spring. The story that I wrote as a companion to this work tells the story of a dream where I come upon a figure crouching looking at this mystical scene of Mother Earth laying on her stomach, kicking her feet along to the music of the animals surrounding her, and painting flowers. The figure turns to me & ask how I followed her, and I say "through you book". I in my late 50s & the world I grew up in before the EPA and individuals embracing
the cleaning up of pollution was just
that...polluted! I breathed industrial waste where ever I lived weather it was the Los Angeles basin or the Ohio River valley. I never saw stars in the sky until we took a trip outside of Los Angeles & I actually didn't know what they were. I rarely saw the Sun due the pollution, and the smells were horrible. The beaches were covered with debris, the roadsides were eye sores with garbage, the waters were polluted with chemical run off, the school yards were feet from fields sprayed with chemicals. It was a pretty bad place to grow up in. I didn't know what would have killed me first...the nuclear bombs threatening to rain down on us daily, or the chemicals we ingested. I grew up in a very frightening time.

Then in 1965, my junior high school science teacher had us read a small piece of Silent Spring by Rachel Carson. We talked about ecology, and there it was out there in the open even for school children. The plead to save our Earth, before we killed IT and US together. Rachel died shortly after her book came out due to breast cancer, but she has been with me since the day I read her opening chapter about a world without birds, without fish or insects or flowers or small animals or US.

Oh things are not perfect, but I breath cleaner air, I drink safe water, and the skies are actually blue with twinkling stars dotting the black night skies. I don't worry like I did while I was growing up about the poisons invading my body while I walk in the parks or drink from a spring. Like I said, still not perfect, but aware.

I'll be posting more pictures in the future with explanations about each section. This is all pieces done individually and then assembled together. I started this all back in January of this year.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Land of Odds.....

Land of Odds posted pictures of the 6 semi finalist for the Earthen Mother Challenge. I can NOW FINALLY let you see what has been possessing me since January. I'm still waiting to hear back from Warren if I can post more pictures that I have either here or on my website I saw the post for this link from Ralonda over at Beaded Art Doll. What a tough group of competitors, but I'm just thrilled to be a part as Land of Odds does a magnificent job of promoting all the finalist. After finishing Rachel, I felt really down as I was working on her for months & months & then she was gone. I haven't picked out a new big project to work on so maybe that is why I'm so empty inside. I really had a fun time making all the component pieces for this. I used several books on beaded flowers, and the bugs and lizards came from Jill Oxton magazines.

Went back to work last night. My coworker called in sick...lovely! I was so tired as it is tough getting back into the groove of night shift, that I felt like a zombie. Also, they hadn't hired anyone for our open position. Here people are begging for jobs, and we are getting no applications for lab workers. Must mean something...means they should raise the salaries. We use to make what nurses did when I first started, but their salaries have far surpassed Med Tech, so my field is suffering a huge shortage of staff. I'm just hoping to survive until management figures out to attract & retain staff you've got to pay them well. Hey maybe by next Spring we'll have a full staff...cough, cough, cough. Doubt it.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Back from Lake Tahoe

Well, technically, I've been back for 48 hours, but I have been trying to get myself back into the "groove" all this time. Now, I do adore napping, but I've been sleeping so much. I sure hope by tomorrow that I get my energy back as I must go back to work.

Okay, how was the Bead Unique Retreat? AWESOME! I had the best time meeting old friends from online who I finally have gotten the chance to met face to face. Then the teachers were just amazing. I got to reconnect with Sherry again, & had the best time with her. I had bought Marcia DeCoster's book "Beaded Opulence" before I left so I could reacquaint myself with RAW (right angle weave) and thought it was a fabulous book, but getting to actually take a class with Marcia was great. I did almost finish the project except for the loop in one day! Beki Haley's class was more complicated, but oh did I learn so much. We were doing peyote pinwheels with a curved herringbone chain. I only got a couple inches of the chain completed & one pinwheel, but it really opened by eyes to using structured peyote.

My friends & I went into Reno a couple days early as we wanted to sight see Lake Tahoe area. It was beautiful. Here is a shot of Emerald Bay. Colleen took this picture of Cyn & I as we were sitting overlooking the Lake laughing & talking. The other picture is one I took on the other side of the Lake just as the Sun was starting to go down. Beautiful spot. I know if Chris was with me, he'd have taken so many more pictures. Cyn, Kate, Colleen, Grace & I had a fun time driving around Lake Tahoe, checking out this really weird restaurant in South Lake Tahoe that was decorated with hand carved bears.

I finally got to met Pam & Joanne from Bead Unique magazine. Pam was a hoot! She had me laughing so hard on Sunday at lunch that I almost inhaled my Irish stew. Bad Pam! The lodge was lovely where we were at. There actually was an Oktoberfest there Saturday...boohooo no beer for me! Sunday there were snow flurries all day long sometime with a white out. Our drive back to Reno that night was magical and so beautiful.

Then the long long long Monday trying to get back to Ohio. I got to the airport at 10:30 AM after getting the car back. My flight was delayed twice because of rain in Denver. Then when I finally got to Denver it was delayed even more because only one
runway was open for incoming & outgoing flights. I thought I was never going to get home. Luckily I didn't have anyone sitting next to me on my way back to Columbus so I popped in my DVD of "Curious Case of Benjamin Button", stretched out & relaxed on my way back home.

More later......yes, I'm still tired.