Thursday, December 30, 2010

Belated wishes

A very belated Christmas wish to all. I think all this stress from Chris being hospitalized again really ran me down, or I sat next to someone infectious that last time we were in the waiting room as Christmas Eve, I came down with Influenza A which lead to an Acute case of Bronchitis. I haven't been this sick in YEARS! I don't even remember driving home from the family Christmas party on Christmas Eve. I kinda remember getting up a couple of times on the 25th & 26th to let the dogs out and to feed them, but it all just blends into one feverish dream. I called Chris a couple of times to tell him I was too ill to come in to see him. I so wanted to spend Christmas with him, but I haven't been able to go to the hospital because I'm so afraid to give him a case of the flu on top of everything else he has going wrong. Finally on the 27th, I was able to get to the Urgent Care to get some medication (thank you the wonder of Pharmaceuticals) and a nebulizer. I actually feel almost normal and am looking forward to getting out of this house later this afternoon to see Chris. I'm also looking forward to going back to work tonight...really! I am.

Still unknown why Chris is so ill. He's on IV feeding, but he can't come home like that so they are going to try to do tube feeding so he can come home soon. It has been almost two months since his surgery, and I think he's probably only been home 14 days. This time, he's been in the hospital for 10 days. I called to him last night & he's so desperate for this to be over & to come home to me & the pupcakes. I think he also misses his big comfy chair & television too, but he won't admit that. I don't care...I just want him home and for our lives to go back to being somewhat normal again. I miss him so much! It isn't fun to watch corny television shows without someone to understand my snarky remarks. The dogs just look up at me thinking I'm going to give them some of my popcorn...not on your life...then go back to sleep.

I've had many wonderful people send me good thoughts, call me, send me cards, gifts and food. I want to thank them all. Without them and my family, I would have been lost. My sister Cheryl has been the rock for me because she listens to my whining and crying day after day.

Couple of beading things to share. I did get my letter from Bead & Button letting me know that I'll be informed if I got into the Carol's Master class on January 5th. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I do because I think I'm ready for the next level of beading. I want to learn to develop my own patterns and learn about arrangement and pleasing designs. Plus, I've never been to Bead & Button before & am looking forward to that. I also decided to spend 2011 focusing more on my beading skills. I'm still going to Artistic Figures in Cloth and will make a few dolls, but I want to get more into beading learning new techniques and networking among the bead world. I am sending in my application for the Great Lakes Beadworkers Guild today too hoping to get to met other fantastic beaders in my area. I don't know if I can make it up to Michigan too many times for meetings & am going to have to miss the winter classes with Marcia DeCoster in February, but hopefully as my life gets less complicated I can make it up to the Detroit area at least once this coming year.



And I want to share with you this necklace that I finished from one of Beki Haley's kits that I bought two years ago when at Lake Tahoe. It is so sparkly! I've worn it a couple times & it gets comments all the time. I have other things finished too, but have to wait for my photographer to get well & back home.

Happy new year to all

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Very low

I'm writing this now feeling extremely low in spirits. If you don't follow me on Facebook, then you aren't aware of the past two months of misery my husband & I have been going through because of a surgery he had back on November 2nd. He's been in and out of the hospital for nausea I believed caused from the surgery, but the surgeon keeps saying it is not. The last two times, I've refused to take him back to the hospital where the surgeon has privileges because he keeps saying nothing from the surgery causes this debilitating nausea or extreme weight loss. So he's at the hospital I work at with internal medicine Doctors who are actually taking him serious and trying so hard to help him. He got out of the hospital for the 5th time 10 days ago, but this past Saturday he started to have nausea/vomiting again & Monday I had him readmitted to the hospital. His Internal Medicine Doctor is very worried and has now decided to start him on TPN which is IV nutritional feeding through a surgical placed port. He was fine yesterday in the hospital, but now the nausea has returned. I'm beside myself with worry. And on top of it, here it is days until Christmas. Just now I realized he will not be home with me and won't be able to go to our family's Christmas party Christmas Eve. He'll be in the hospital hooked up to tubes, monitors and IVs. It hit me hard like a brick just now, and I'm so very low in spirits that I just want to cry.

I don't think I've been this low since the Christmas right after my Father died. I'm powerless as I have to work but at least he's there in the same hospital complex so I can just dash over if something happens. Meanwhile, I'm dealing with depressed dogs. They are so upset that he is gone again. Frodo is the worse. Last night, I heard Frodo upstairs so I sneaked up and found him rolling around on Chris' bed trying to get under the covers. He looked up, saw me, and started to whine. I had to hold that little dog's body to comfort him or was he comfort me. I haven't put up any decorations this year, I haven't baked, I haven't sent out Christmas cards, and I've barely shopped. I don't think I've ever had such a lonely time ever. My Mother tries to encourage me, and some of my coworkers seem to care about me. My sister is wonderful and my two brothers are as always my foundation. Yet, when I'm here in this house all alone with my three Scotties, I feel as if I'm the only one in the world. I realized from all of this experience that I truly do not like being alone. I know I have my dogs, but it isn't the same as being able to look across the room & make some nonsense comment about anything to Chris. This afternoon, I started to talk out loud and Fiona was so freaked out she had a little pee accident. Oops, next time I'll have to give her fair warning.

I do have Christmas Eve this year from the hospital. I plan on going to my brother's house for a little to spend time with my family and to find cheer. But then, I'll be spending some time at the hospital with my husband so I don't have to be in this house alone without him. I've learned that things don't mean a thing when you are alone. I can surround myself with all kinds of material objects, but the only thing that is important is the one I love.

My best friend told me that at Winter Solstice she went to a pagan ceremony where you sent three wishes for others to the endless night. She told me she sent a prayer/wish that Chris gets better. I hope it works. I truly hope for a Christmas miracle. I have seen then come true, believe me. If you will endulge me for a few seconds longer I want to tell you about such a miracle. Chris' Mom from a mishap with surgery was in a coma for three months. Doctors told us all that even if she ever regained conscious she would never have mental clarity ever. He practically told us she would be in a vegetative state. One Christmas while she was in an nursing facility, both of us & Chris' brother went to visit her. We brought her a stuffed horse that neighed when you shook it up only because she loved little stuffed toys. Chris unwrapped it for her and put it under her arm. Then he & his brother sat next to her. Miraculously, she opened her eyes looked at both of them and said "my boys are home again". We were all shocked as she kept talking and wanted to get up to make them something to eat. I ran down to the nursing station and was met with disbelief. The nurse came down heard Chris' Mom talking and stood there with mouth open. She rushed down to call the Doctor who did the same. His Mom was her own self and lived another year. So you see, Christmas miracles do indeed come true. I just hope that I'm blessed enough to be witness to another one.

Well, enough of my long long winding tale. I now need to get myself together and head over to the hospital just to touch his cheek, hold his hand, and tell him how much I love him and need him. I'm praying for a miracle.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Acts of Kindess

Today I feel a little better. I've had some kind of Vertigo sneaking back into my life these past couple weeks on top of ever other stressful thing which I don't need at all. I actually didn't feel dizzy this afternoon when I woke up, and the Sun was shining. On top of it, there were two acts of kindness to me that really made me stop and realize there are wonderful people out there. First was my neighbor, Rod, who knowing Chris has been in & out of the hospital for the last 5 weeks shoveled the snow off all my sidewalks AND the driveway! Chris usually gets the snow blower out & does all the neighbors around us, but he hasn't had the energy to go out to the mailbox. Me, I wasn't looking forward to getting the shovel out as I don't do big boy power tools. It is enough to shovel pathways for the dogs. So it really made me extremely happy that Rod did all this work for us without our asking at all.

Then our sump pump has been on the fritz for over a week semi flooding our basement. Luckily the boxes that got wet just held radio tubes & metal components. The only thing ruin was the rug, but that is easy to replace. My brother who is a very busy man with a family of four and a very busy work schedule came over this afternoon & replaced the sump pump. He & I got to talk, drink some coffee & he finally picked up the present I got for him on our Kauai trip (we just never have the same work schedule). So now, I don't have to shovel snow or worry about more things in the basement getting wet. How lucky am I?

Then I got to thinking about how truly lucky I am even though I don't think so at times. I have a warm place to call my own. I have a car that gets me around comfortably. I have a job that isn't too physically stressful (just emotionally), I have family who are always there at a phone call, I have friends who call me (Pam & Cyn you know this is you) worrying about how I'm handling things, I have my dogs to give me love (and lots of wet kisses), I live in an area with little crime so I need not worry about violence again me or mine, I have access to the Internet where I can communicate with all the hundreds of people I've met through my +20 years online, and I have my health. I have to stop at times & just consider yes indeed, I am a pretty lucky girl.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

blue

Just been blue around here lately. Chris has been in & out of the hospital now for going on 6 weeks. I think he's physically only been in the house maybe 8 days. This has made me realize that I really do not like being alone. I'm not truly alone as I have my three Scotties with me, but they are lonely too as I'm either at the hospital visiting Chris or working. I don't have enough vacation time to take off more. I'm tired all the time, because I'm not sleeping well. I forget to eat & am so tired of fast food & hospital cafeteria food. I actually had to start cleaning the house. I had no idea where the mop was & had to call Chris to ask him where that & the Pledge was so I could dust a little. The dogs are so upset that Frodo is marking the house, Fiona whines much of the day & Arwen wanders around going from room to room. I just wish he'd come home soon. I have gotten many wonder messages on FaceBook from friends wishing me the best. Dale sent me a surprise gift that made my day yesterday when I was feeling especially down. Pam sent Chris a card. I've got phone calls to cheer me up. But I'm still so blue.

I find it so hard to create when your life is in a turmoil. Especially hard as my studio is in the basement of the house & the dogs are all so needy & don't want me down there at all. I try to do something & all three are sitting on top of the stairs whining for me to come up. I actually got one of my old trays our & took some beading upstairs so I can physically be with them.

Some things I've decided to not do. The hardest thing was not to participate in the 2011 Bead Journal Project. With all the illness this year first with Frodo's oral surgery, Fiona's near death & Chris' illness, surgery and now extended hospital stay, I have not had the preserverence to even finish 2010. I only got to August & lost my Muse for this project. I haven't read the blogs to see what others are doing & have seemed to lost interest in this project all together. I'll miss it as I have met some nice women from that group. I've also decided to not decorate the house at all for Christmas. I'm too exhausted to go down to the basement, drag up all that stuff & decorate the house. I'm not even buying presents or sending cards this year as it is all too exhausting to even think about it. I have a few things for special folks like my Mom, Grandma & a couple close friends. Chris will get a few things too that I bought months before. Nothing is even triggering the holiday spirit in me. I remember walking though the halls of the hospital & it would be decorated for Christmas. We aren't even allowed to call it Christmas anymore...has to be Winter Holiday...oh how fun, right? We haven't gotten a Christmas bonus in over two years. I remember way back when the economy was really tough in the 80s at least the nuns would give us all a turkey for our Christmas meal & we could all say Merry Christmas! Oh we did have a holiday party at work with cold appetizers, and stale cookies. I did get to shake someone's hand who I have no idea who they are wishing me Happy Holidays. Sure...I'll do that. Our department party is once again a pot luck (oh how I remember the lavish Christmas feast and parties) with a cheap sandwich tray from Giant Eagle which by the time we come in at 10pm is stale & tasteless. Doesn't this all sound so joyful?

The only good thing is that my youngest brother is going to have a get together Christmas Eve. I haven't seen some of my siblings for so long and am looking forward to being with them, my Mother & my 96 year old Grandma. I'm sure there will lots of delicious foods there & much laughing which I need right now.

Well, what to you know...something good has just happened. Chris just called & said the Doctors gave him a clean bill of health & he is coming home. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that he won't have to go back into the hospital. I'm so tired.

thanks all for listening to my personal rant. I so wish 2011 is a better year for me & my family.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Voting begins





I've entered the ArtBeads.com's challenge called "What Inspires You?" I took one of the pictures my husband took when we were in Kauai & made my first embroidered cuff necklace with it. If you have time could you please vote for me of any other that catches your attention. You can chose 5 pieces from the group. What is the prize? $500 worth of beads. You know I'm drooling over that.



I thought I'd share with you some close up pictures of this encrusted collar as it is really tough to just look at one picture and see all the things going on as I really like to fill my pieces with color, texture, and wee surprises. I originally picked these colors when Duchess from ArtBeads.com wrote to her bloggers about the Colors of Fall Design Partners. I looked at the color palette and decided to pick some colors that I feel comfortable with and then a couple things that were out of my norm. I loved the 4mm fire polish matte gold. I'd seen someone do a bracelet using fire polish around the edges, but they'd done more of a fringe type work. I thought wouldn't it look nice to have those fire polish beads snugged up against the work making it look like golden stones ready to bounce off the cliff wall? Then the gilt lined goldenrod beads were such a surprise. I didn't think they'd work in with the greens and browns, but that little bit of gilt just sets everything off when looked at from a distance. The challenge was the delicas. I usually don't use delicas in my bead embroidery, but I'd taken a class with Sherry Serafini last year, and she always cages her main cabochons with delicas. It took me awhile to get it done as those little things are tough to see. I actually thought about getting a pair of cheaters to complete this, but finally, finally, I was able to get the second row of peyote to work. I finished the actual collar itself, but it was so bland, so I looked around to find something to add to it and there was this square stitched lizard that I'd done last month, but didn't have anything to use it with. It was perfect as it reminded me of the little lizards skittering around the ferns there on the Napali coast.


I also jumped into my stash of Byzantium treasures to work on this piece. I used the last of my salmon lined peridot seed beads (have to find someone who has more of these) and all the green margharites that I used for flash and bling. My hardest part with all of this project, and I'm still not thrilled with the outcome was the rope that is used as the necklace piece. I've torn that part up at least three times. I wanted a smooth even flow from the actual collar to the toggle. I think adding the three braided ropes to the herribone neck piece helped, but it still seems a little skimpy to me. I had to give up as the deadline was due, but my next project I'll have to concentrate on how to get the flow down right.


On another note. My husband is still ill from his surgery. He is having trouble eating. He's lost 19 pounds in 3 weeks. Now on me, that would be fabulous, but he was thin to begin with. Don't think we'll have any Thanksgiving meal here as cooking food makes him nauseous. I might have to just show up at my brother's house with a begging bowl out for hot food. One good thing I've found out...Wendy's has changed their french fries...oh yes, I've been eating a Wendy's a lot.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

What Inspires you? Beading contest

Chris finally felt well enough this afternoon and the Sun was briefly out for him to take some pictures of the piece I have been working on for the Artbeads.com beading contest: What Inspires you? The picture I used for inspiration was one that Chris took while we were on vacation in Kauai. We loved the Napali Coastline from both from the waterline (Captain Andy's tour) to a leisure drive to the end of the road. Most people were content just to stand at the viewing point and snapping pictures, but we are never the kind to just let someone else dictate what a "perfect" view was, so we hiked a little way down the trail making use to #1, keep our mouths closed as every step was one more fantastic view that made our jaws drop & we didn't want to trip, and # 2 again with the fantastic views we had to make sure we didn't walk off the trail and slide down the mountain side. Then looking up we saw the mist climbing down the slopes engulfing us in a surreal world of color and scents. We happened upon this scene with wild growing ferns perched upon the edge of the mountain. Chris took many pictures while I admired the creatures scurrying around the base of the plants.


At home, I decided to try my hand at a big beaded collar. I've never done one successfully before and usually gave up, but this time that picture just haunted me. After ordering beads from Artbeads.com's Blogger promotion, I worked on this piece by piece until I was ready to put it all together. I liked it, but the actually neck piece roping was too flimsy for a large piece of bead embroidery, so I did a little tinkering by twisting three strung ropes together making the visual trip from the collar to the toggle more gradual. It worked, I think. So here is the list of the beads that I used from Artbeads.com. I added in a few more of my own including all the Delicas to complete the lizard.


DB0507 Lovely Delicas in Rose/Green/Gold
GCRD-OAM A beautiful Cabochon dangling from the main collar
TBRD8-514F Scrumptious Raku Bronze Plum size 8 seed beads
TBRD11-2110 Wonderful gilt lined goldenrod beads in size 11 and 8
TBRD8-2110
FPSMAME-GDR4 and all framed with these delicious 4mm matte firepolish beads

Disclosure...As a reviewer of products at Artbeads.com, I receive the cab/seed beads/fire polish above free of charge. I have been asked to review these products and give my honest opinion of the products...positive or negative. I am not being compensated by Artbeads.com for my endorsement as it pertains to the products received and reviewed.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

sigh....it will be better

I'm just having one of those kind of months. Lots of things going on around my house, but nothing that I really want to blog about until today. If you follow me on Facebook, you know that my husband had surgery to remove a Diverticulum of the Esophagus back on Election Day. He was in the hospital for 4 days for that. I took a FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) so that I could be with him & help him out. Where I work at how that works is that since the FMLA is not for me, I have to use my vacation time for days I need to be off. If I run out of vacation time, then I have to do a not pay...whoa! Can't do that! So Chris did well from surgery & it seems he kept hearing "rare" and "large" from all the interns and residents who came into his room. He was also told that the surgical gallery was full since the surgeon was going to do these three procedures laproscopical. He recovered & came home. But then last Tuesday morning he calls me at work with intense nausea & vomiting. I rushed home & took him back to the hospital where he'd had the surgery. He stayed another 4 days with IVs and anti nausea drugs. He was released with more pills than my Grandfather use to keep on the dinner table (inside joke there as he had them all on a lazy Susan). Most of the time they work, but he's in such misery with the "dry heaves" even if he smells the dog food. One resident told him it might be the Vagus nerve was disturbed. The Surgeon said it would get better, but still coming on 2 1/2 weeks after the surgery, and Chris is still very weak. He is slowly and I should say extremely slowly is getting better, but he can barely go from chair to bed. He is eating when not gagging, but he's only able to eat soft foods and Ensure. Last night he called me at work & said he dreamed he was eating an egg and bacon sandwich..then asked if that was a sign he was getting better. I have no idea, but I think so.

Meanwhile, I've been in a sort of daze. It really gives me a new outlook on what living with an extremely ill person is like. I really now want to give out a big hug to those who live with invalid individuals and are their support and caregivers. I know this will eventually pass & I shouldn't be feeling so sorry for myself as there are so many women, men, children, and parents who do this 24/7 without complaining or selfish thoughts. Never until you've been in a situation where you are the sole caregiver can you understand the selfish dedication to all those others out there.

My dogs are very upset too. They can't figure out why "Dad" can't come outside with them, or sit on the floor and play with them, or walk them, or sometimes not able to even have them sit in the chair with him. So they too are looking at me for comfort and support. Oh, they've had a streak of "badness" too...guess I've got to get the carpet cleaning company out here. You think about it, dogs do know the mood of people and if they are upset then that just through pure osmosis goes into the dogs' pyschie and makes them miserable. I feel for them too and need to get them out for at least a longish play in the back yard.

People at work are very understanding when I tell them that I've got to leave at 6am to let the dogs out & feed them since Chris can't. And all the people who've sent me messages via Facebook these past 2 weeks have been great. My Mother has been the best as she is on the phone when I need to talk to her. She took care of my Grandfather when he was dying and thought a very tiny woman, she's got big shoulders for me. My sister calls almost every day. My brothers call to see if we need anything. My friends e-mail me. I'm not alone even though at times I just feel so...but that is short lived & passes.

Have I been creating? Yes. I've actually made three big necklaces, two pin cushions, and a doll for our Christmas exchange...but my photographer has been ill so no pictures. I really should learn to use the cameras for close up shots...oh well...my photographer is on the mend.

So thank you all who've written me or tolerated my long silence. It will get better. Oh and on a funny note...of all holidays for me to get off at the hospital, I got Thanksgiving! No turkey will be roasting around here...maybe some potato soup, but nothing good & fattening. Wonder if I sneak out & head to the hospital cafeteria, if I can get something? Hum...idea!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

More about Shelbyville

More stories about Shelbyville Kentucky and my trip last weekend there with some very amazing artist. I think if you took all the talent in that hotel for just that weekend it would be brighter than an exploding Star. I couldn't believe my eyes with all the fantastic sculpted heads and the embroidered faces were just amazing. Everyone brought boxes of fabric to work with and even that made my head just whirl. I got to see some work from Judy a wonderful quilt artist from Canada. Then there were pictures of work and did I say there were some amazing jewelry there too. Doll makers do like the bling bling of jewelry too.

One afternoon, I went to lunch with Susie, Linda (who sat across the table from me) and Peggy who I met many years ago at AFIC & then EDAC. Annie had told us about this fantastic restaurant in downtown Shelbyville called the Science Hill Inn. We were told it only served from 11 am until 2:30 so we hussled to find the place. WOW! is all I can say. It was in an old Victorian brick building that had galleries inside. We walked into the dining room and instantly it was like I was transported back to the 1950s. White linen table clothes were on every table covered with an assortment of china and glass. A crystal chandelier hung from the ceiling and in a few tables were groups of women dressed to the hilt. There the four of us were, some still having left over paint on our shirts (me!). The staff were all dressed in black. The women had white aprons with a white maid's cap. The men all had white shirts and black coat tails with black bow ties. We were seated in such an elegant environment, that all of us realized we were a bit under dressed & prepared for this event. For event it truly was. Our waiter was the most fascinating man. He smiled all the time presenting us with menus and telling us the history of the Inn. He then very proudly told us that he'd worked there for 37 years. Then the food started to arrive even before we'd ordered.

This is the bread basket. It was the most delicious breads and corn fritters I'd ever had. Susie tried one of the fritters and beamed back a big smile. Everyone enjoyed ordering things from the menu that you would be hard pressed to find in Columbus Ohio or even New York City. I had heard about this dish called the Hot Brown for years. My friend Kate grew up in Kentucky but now living in New Jersey constantly has given me grief over not trying this dish when I was in Lexington. So I thought, I'd finally be able to tell her enough with the" you gotta eat this when in Kentucky" speech. How was it, you ask??? Delicious is the word. From every mouth of cheesy cheese sauce to the turkey hidden under all that cheese sauce I felt my mouth gasping with pure enjoyment. Kate, you are so right...yes, I admit...you are! It was wonderful. The only thing I felt bad about was that I didn't have room for desserts...oh! and we were late for class by an HOUR, but who cares...we had the teacher.



One more thing about Kentucky food that I'd pass on to you. We had people from every point of the globe at our small conference. Several of the women constantly complained that everything was fried. In unison one dinner, four of us said...you're in Kentucky...what did you expect??? To me it was pure and simple comfort food from my childhood. Fried and hot is what was at our dinner tables almost every single night...and it was delicious and taste good and did I say it tasted! Some places I've traveled, I've had the dish of the region...some are wonderful, but most are blah bland. But I guess growing up with a family from Southern Ohio where corn is plentiful, every thing either is fried or covered in rich gravy, and there ain't no counting of calories. And yes...I picked up my accent that weekend. I sounded like a native in Kentucky. Not hard considering Portsmouth where my family is from is "spittin" distance. I am going to try to let my Appalachian accent die down for now. I really need to stop the "you'all".

I did spend some of my free time working on my Inspiration necklace for Artbeads. I finished it a couple days ago, but after wearing it, I didn't like the straps so...I...cut...them...off! and am starting again. Don't know if I'll make the deadline, but as Chris said "an Artist sometimes has to destroy to create". But, yes...I did cringe.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Big week

Here this week has passed by so fast, and I haven't even written one word about how crazy it all was. Really though it has been more of a 12 day experience. Whew. It all started off with my working 6 days in a row to get last weekend off. You know, I'm really getting tired of working so many weekends in a row just to get a couple days off, but I work in a hospital and you gotta do what you gotta do...or maybe. Last Tuesday, I had to go to my cousin's wife's viewing at the funeral home. She wasn't even 50 years old. She'd had cancer for several years and all of a sudden, she got worse and passed away. My cousin, Steve, was so stoic, but I knew he hurt so bad inside. One good thing is that the whole football team from Westerville Central (where he coaches) came in to give him support. Everyone was just in tears. Then I rushed off to work where it was extremely busy. When Fall hits, everyone also hits the Emergency Room. I tried to leave before 6 am on that Wednesday, but no doing.

I slept four hours and then got up to head out to the MM&M conference in Shelbyville Ohio. I had to pick up my four riders before we left. I picked up Susie McMahan at Linda Apple's house first. Susie & I had briefly talked last year when she was here visiting from Tasmania at AFIC. Susie is a fabulous artist. She makes the most beautiful figures using paper clay and paints. Her figures faces are just amazing. Best part, she was one of the teachers at MM&M. Then we picked up Janet (my fellow Guilded Lily sister). Janet piled the back end of the Element with many bags filled with supplies, food, and more supplies. Janet is always prepared! On our way to pick up Cyndy, we got a call from Cyndy wondering where we were. I told Janet to tell her we forgot and were down the road at a restaurant having lunch. Even I could hear the "WHAT?" and burst out laughing. Next thing I know, we are at Cyndy's house. She comes out and looks at the loaded Element shaking her head. I just told everyone to go inside, have a drink & I'd do my magic thing. I can pack just like my Grandpa. So everyone inside with all our stuff and off to Kentucky.

We'd told Susie that we'd be more fun to travel with that a load of strangers on a Greyhound bus. We did not underestimate any of that. I think there wasn't a silent moment the whole way. Later, Susie said she enjoyed the conversation...we laughed & said, you mean the moaning, groaning, and constant yakking? Yeppers, Susie could be a Guilded Lily for sure. Cyndy, Janet and I got adjoining rooms. They were in one, and I in the other as no one can stand sleeping with me. I talk in my sleep and do snore. Then classes. OMG...we had the best time in Susie's class. with aluminum foil, paper clay, and paints we made lovely faces. Everyone else made sweet pretty faces. Even Cyndy working on a borg queen managed to get some pretty going strong. Me...oh come on! I can't do pretty if I tried. So I decided to just go for it and do a steampunk type of head. It took two days to finish the head. I managed to get mine done. Susie in a quick but very informative 1/2 hour gave us instructions on how to make a body for the head. She sketched on the table liner...I decided to just photograph her sketch for future use. Pictured is Janet working painting her head. She had Susie cut it in half as she is going to mount it on this amazing antique box she found. Also is Cyndy working on her BorgQueen.


Oh and I did take my little visitor from Germany with me. Here is Susie and Cutie Potato. Here is also a view of my hideous head with Anne Hesse sitting in the back ground. Funny, but I did think I took more pictures. Oh well, more later as this was a fun trip





More tomorrow. And if you follow me on Facebook, I want to thank every single one of you for all the good thoughts to me and Chris this past week when he had his surgery.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A visitor to Ohio


Guess who finally made it to Ohio...Cutie Potato! She has been traveling all over the world and has made it here to Columbus just in time to go to MM&M with me. If you'd like to see the other places she's visited, please check out her blog here. Here is her picture with her new BFF Daisy. At first Cutie Potato was a little intimidated by the sparkle farkle around here, but she's doing much better.

I'm still working on my piece for the Artbeads.com challenge. You know as long as I've done bead embroidery, I've never made one of those big collars. So, that is my challenge. I like it so far. Sorry about this awful picture. I'm going to have to get Chris to take it as my hands shake too much to get a nice clear shot, but then I'm not done yet! It needs more embellishment. I did find the perfect backing for it. Don't laugh, but I bought this jumper at the thrift store which was 100 ultra seude in a nice rust color. It is about two-three yards of pristine fabric for only...wait for it...$7.40. I got it on Wednesday discount day. I think the rust will match well.



I'm going to MM&M in Shelbyville Ohio this weekend. Then a busy first of November. Fiona is going to see Dr. Miller & have her glucose checked. She's doing so much better & her fur is coming in red! She hasn't been red since she was 3 years old. I think it is the high protein diet she's on. Well, gotta run. I still have to pack, work tonight, and them pick up my riders for the big trip tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

For Andrew

I don't know Andrew Thornton very well, but I've been reading his blog for the past two months getting to know him and appreciate the beautiful soul he has & the art that comes from that soul. Andrew is facing lots of medical bills and the community of artist out here on the internet are helping by auctioning off piece of art to help Andrew. I have found over the years that no one has a bigger heart than an artist and the out pour of generous help for a fellow traveler is amazing. I want to add my voice.



I am offering any proceeds from the sell of one of my beaded beanie babies that was featured in the article I wrote for Doll Crafter and Costuming called Trash to Treasure. I found a bag of those mini beanie babies that were given out in fast food children's meals at the thrift store. Inside that bag were tiny little faces looking at me some of them still in their original plastic packaging. They were bound for the trash can, so I bought them all and decided to take my skills at bead embroidery and turn them into something that could be treasured. I would like to offer to the highest bidder my little beaded cat I named Snowball. She is covered with beads and has three crystals on her forehead as I just couldn't cover up that adorable face. I'm going to take bids through my e-mail until October 26. Please e-mail me at scotdog@wideopenwest.com with bids. I'll let the winner know on the 27th before I leave for Kentucky. All money made from this auction will go to Andrew. So please dig deep & help another artist.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

October...where are you going?

I can't believe here it is the second half of October. What has happen...did someone wind up the clock too fast & everything is double time? I've lost track of weeks & weeks. Someone find them & send them back to me. I do have an announcement. I have a winner for the Pocket Monster give away. Congrats to Rachel Crisman of Dalai Mama. Now how did I pick her you wonder. Did I write numbers and pick one out of a hat? Did I use some sophisticated number picker? Nope...we were at Costco getting gas when I asked Chris to pick a number from one to twenty-one. Instantly he said 17. Within minutes the gas pump also clicked out $17 dollar of gas. So it was meant to be. Rachel wants a red one with pointy ears....I'm going to have to jump into that basket & wade my way through the monsters to find that one. They have been whispering amongst themselves as they heard that Cutie Potato is coming to visit real soon & are planning something. You know how those monsters are.

I was down for a week with stinking Vertigo again! Two weekends ago, Barbara came to teach our club Boudica. She stayed with me. I let her sleep in my bedroom when I "camped" out in the some day to be guest room. I must have slept wrong or blew my nose wrong or ate something wrong or just was wrong as I woke up two Saturday with that awful feeling in my head. Thank goodness I had drugs and it was a pretty mild case...until Monday when it go BAD! I felt like I had a tight cap around my head & the world was spinning. I had to call off sick & take some Phenergen. Chris said he thought I was dead as I slept for 16 straight hours. It lingered until yesterday but everyone at work enjoyed my staggering around...but hey! I did work!

I have been missing my Muse recently. I think after I finished Mother's Love, I've been in a limbo wondering what big project will come my way. I've been sewing a lot (ie, the Pocket Monsters and some pin cushions which are too horrible to picture) but I needed a big project to make my Muse wake up. Then Artbeads.com came up with a new challenge. Here is the write up about the new challenge:


"Artbeads is proud to announce our first ever ‘What Inspires You?’ jewelry contest! The theme of Artbeads.com’s first beading contest is to let beading artists share their inspiration with others. There are two categories, necklaces and other beaded designs for this contest. Voting will be open to the public to determine the top 3 winners in each category. A picture of the inspiration and design will allow the voters to see how each entry is represented.

The Grand Prize Winner in the Necklace and Beading contests will each receive a $500 Artbeads.com Gift Certificate, the 2nd Place winners will each receive a $250 Artbeads.com Gift Certificate and the 3rd Place winners will each receive a $100 Artbeads.com Gift Certificate.

This is a fun event to share with your blog readers, family, friends and fellow beaders. This is a contest of originality, design, and vision. All entries MUST be an original design. At least 50% of the beads and components in a submitted entry must be purchased from Artbeads.com. Participants must upload one picture of their design and one of picture of their inspiration, such as you see below in the banners. This contest is open to beaders worldwide, aged 18 and older.

I have provided two images and the HTML code below that you may use in your blog if you like. One is for the Necklace Beading Contest and the other for the general Beaded Contest entries."

SOoooooo...instantly I decided I needed to do this. At the same time Duchess sent me an e-mail asking if I'd like to blog for beads again...duh! So I sent her a list and got these...oooooo




DB0507
GCRD-OAM
TBRD8-514F
TBRD11-2110
TBRD8-2110
FPSMAME-GDR4




I began to bead, and bead and bead. Everything just started to click. I do have more pictures to share later, but I have to retake them because they are all fuzzy and even though I'm over most of my Vertigo, I can't look at fuzzy pictures or cars racing around on television. So here's a beginning. I've worked three days so far. I'm hoping to finish this by next week.


I had to eventually make myself stop beading & come upstairs to enter the "real" world. There waiting for me was Fiona. Here are a couple pictures of my miracle girl. She is doing so well with her new diet and insulin injections. I was so close to losing my girl, but with Dr. Miller and the techs at Worthingon Woods Vet Hospital, Fiona is happy & gaining her weight back. She'll be blind with those cataracts, but she's alive & letting me love her one more day.


I'll have more later. I have lots to share, but need to check on that Pork roast I smell cooking.
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Disclosure...As a reviewer of products at Artbeads.com, I receive the cab/seed beads/fire polish above free of charge. I have been asked to review these products and give my honest opinion of the products...positive or negative. I am not being compensated by Artbeads.com for my endorsement as it pertains to the products received and reviewed.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Pocket MOnsters give away

October is tomorrow & I just can't wait. My favorite month of the year because I love the Fall weather, I love pumpkins, and I love Halloween! When I was growing up in Los Angeles, we'd spend weeks trying to figure out what we were going to wear to go trick or treating. Now this was back in the days when kids went out and night (yes! when it was DARK!) without parental supervision with pillow cases crawling the neighborhoods begging for candy. In LA, begger's night was always on Halloween the 31st. It was shocking when we moved to Ohio & found out it was Oct. 30th & you could only be out for 4 hours. How could you get enough candy to last until Christmas? I remember one year so vividly as Halloween was on a Sunday, so our town let kids go out BOTH the 30th & the 31st! We made out like bandits. My Mom let us cross the 4 lane road separating our neighborhood with the other & there was virgin candy beggin' ground. I think we had candy until Easter that year. And I'm not talking about tiny little pieces of hard candy...I'm talking about bars of chocolate and bags of popcorn balls! We were so bloated. I remember coming home with our loot (what we didn't eat on the run) & pouring it all out on sheets my Mom had in the front room. There's she's sort through it all taking her cut (Heath bars, and Pay Days) as she did help us with out costumes. So I do have fun memories of Halloween. What's yours?



To celebrate the day before October, I'm showing you a new treat I've been working on. My bead Muse has been in a slump lately, but I've been practicing sewing away. I call these Pocket Monsters. It all started when I ripped the pocket off a shirt & looked at it & decided it would be perfect for something. Then a glance at my scrap bag & and ideas! Delivery of Pocket MOnsters! I've got a big basket of a dozen so far. They are so fun to make that I can't help myself. Would you like one???? Leave me a comment with your e-mail by October 15th. & I'll pick out one lucky follower to get one of these scary scary monsters by Halloween.



Chris is busy working on our vacation pictures still. He is almost done. Here's another picture of the coast of Kauaii. I want to go back! I can see that my tan is slowly going away. Boy don't I miss the Sun.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

give aways & vacation

I just got this message from Ray over that Lark Crafts. Two fabulous give away items. One is a free download of the Helixa Necklace project from Sarah McConnell's One Big Beautiful Bead (I must download this now!) and then a chance to win one of the fabulous books that Lark makes (the non-Jewelry Lark Jewelry & Beading 500 series books, including the beaded objects, metal vessels, knives, glass beads, Judaica, enameled objects, and polymer clay entries in the 500 series). I love the Lark books. They are so well put together & the perfect books to go through when you are having a slump like me & need to jump kick the Muse. Which ones do I want? Well, of course the 500 beaded objects (can you believe I don't have that?) and I thought that metal vessel books look intriguing. The book giveaways are only for US residents & will be open until this coming Monday Oct. 4th. So hurry over to Lark Craft for a chance to get one of these books.



And Chris has been working on his thousands of pictures from Kauai vacation this month. This one is from the end of the road looking out North at the Napali Coast. And if you think real hard, yes you have seen this place before. Remember Jurassic Park??? Well that was filmed in Kauai & this is the place where the helicopters flew for the first glimpse of the island. Isn't it a beautiful place? While Chris was taking photos, I just sat & watched the clouds come up over the peaks and roll down into the valley. Then my attention was grabbed by the ferns and other plants growing around. This is truly a magical place. I'll post more once he sends them over to my computer. He is also working on taking these photos and making them into a book as a memento of our vacation. Costco will do this for a pretty reasonable price.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Excuse me-I have to rant!

I rarely use my blog to rant about something, but yesterday my dander just got all into a ruff. About what you might ask? My answer is about fast food or in particular-McDonald's. Yesterday on the way home from Costco during rush hour, we decided to just pop into the drive through & grab a quick bite to take home as we were both too tired to even think about cooking. I was surprised at how fast the line was moving as it was whip/whip/whip...done! I think it was only about two minutes from placing the order to driving away with a bag. BUT! as soon as we got out into traffic, Chris decided to open the bag & take a small bite of a few french fries...they were stone cold ! COLD! I'd say it was only 30 seconds after we pulled away from the drive through. The traffic was too backed up to let me go back & complain (which I have numerous times) so we decided to just head home which was only 5 minute drive. Chris only ate about 4 or 5 cold fries during that time. We get home, open the bag & funny but the medium order which was mine was almost full, but his large order was only 1/2 full...and we didn't eat that many! So needless to say, the medium order of fries had more french fries than the large. Another complaint I've had before! Then the sandwiches themselves which were also cold as ice, were soggy and tasteless. That's it! I'm through with fast food as my rant includes other fast food establishments like Wendy's, Burger King, Taco Bell, and especially Kentucky Fried Chicken. They are all banned from now on...forever. I've had enough of bad cold food which is advertised on television as hot & fresh, or fun and tasty, or value and nutritious!

I know fast food it bad for me, but I use to love it so much. I remember my Dad driving all the way to San Bernadino from El Monte for us to get McDonalds burgers and fries. And I would make a trip to Burger King once a week in college to treat myself. Wendy's was a special place we'd go to get a hot fresh burger, but all that is long long long gone. Now fast food establishments as so concerned about time that they've forgotten about taste! And from my above rant you can see they don't even serve food hot anymore. Wendy's talk about hot & fresh, but their french fries are always limp and cold & I do say that hamburger has shrunk every year. Burger King puts more salt on any of the foods just to disguise the taste of inferior meat. And KFC is just bad! It taste like the grease is weeks old & you have to scrap the grease off the inside of your mouth with each bite. Taco Bell...well, though tolerable, it too is now on my banned list because of tastelessness!

Time, time, timing. That is all this is about. Fast to the maximum! Feed the masses fast! Time, time, time! I don't care if I can get in & out of the drive through in less than 2 minutes...I care if the $10 I spent isn't wasted & all the food gets fed to the dogs because it is cold. Has this world got so time oriented that everyone has forgotten that to take a few extra minutes and serve something that is hot or even warm is more important. I guess not as I've noticed this trend for the last couple of years in all fast food. And don't let me even start on service if you walk in! I told Chris that from now on instead of FAST food, we'll go to someplace like Steak & Shake which for a couple extra dollars you get hot food & service above and beyond. Or just go ahead and go to someplace like Applebees which will treat you like a human being once there instead of a "timed" number. Or if I'm really in a hurry...I'll bring my own snacks & wait until I get home.

Okay, I've ranted...and I mean it when I say Fast food is now banned for me. I'm done throwing away my money on poor prepared, tasteless, and cold FAST food. Enough!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Another Kauai moment


Isn't this a lovely shot? It is a morning Sunrise in Kauai. We'd wake up every single morning before dawn (probably because we were still on East Coast Time). I'd make some Kona coffee & we'd both sit outside on the lanai & watch as the skies would turn pink & mauve. Chris got a brand new Sony camera that takes panorama pictures. On this morning, while I was getting ready for a early morning excursion, he walked down to the beach on the resort property and got this beautiful morning picture. Every morning was a surprise in explosive colors and got our blood humming and wanting us to get out and explore.

Along with the colorful Sunrise each morning, we were also awaken by the crowing of the many roosters all over the island. They were every where! Chickens on the beach, chickens along the side of the road, chickens at the top of the mountains. When we took a boat ride up the Napoli coast, Captain Bernard asked if we'd all take at least 10 home with us. So we were wondering what was it with the chickens. Was it some Hawaiian thing we didn't understand? Nope, here is the answer. Hurricane Iniki hit the south of the island on September 11th, 1992:

Hurricane Iniki made landfall on the south-central portion of Kauaʻi island, bringing its dangerous inner core to the entire island.[1] Upon making landfall the hurricane produced storm tides of 4.5–6 feet (1.4–1.8 m), with some portions of the coastlines having high water marks of up to 18 feet (5.5 m). In addition, strong waves of up to 35 feet (10.5 m) in height crashed along the southern coastline for several hours, causing a debris line of more than 800 feet (250 m) inland. Because it moved quickly through the island, there were no reports of significant rainfall.[3]

Hurricane Iniki making landfall on Kauaʻi

Hurricane Iniki's making landfall during daylight hours, combined with the popularity of camcorders, led many Kauaʻi residents to record much of the damage as it was occurring. The footage was later used to create an hour-long video documentary.[5]

Wind damage to trees from Iniki

Hurricane Iniki's high winds caused extensive damage in Kauaʻi. 1,421 houses were completely destroyed, and 63 were lost from the storm surge and wave action. 5,152 homes were severely damaged, while 7,178 received minor damage.[1] On the south coast, hotels and condominiums received severe damage as well. A few were restored quickly, though some took several years to be rebuilt. One hotel—the Coco Palms Resort famous for Elvis Presley's Blue Hawaii—never reopened after the hurricane.[6] Destroyed housing across the island left more than 7,000 people homeless after the storm's passage.[7]

Sidewalk and tree damage from Iniki

Iniki's Category 4 winds also downed 26.5% of the island's transmission poles, 37% of its distribution poles, and 35% of its 800 mile (1300 km) distribution wire system. The entire island lacked electricity and television service for an extended period of time.[7] Electric companies restored only 20% of the island's power service within four weeks of Iniki, while other areas were without power for up to three months. Also affected by the storm was the agricultural sector.[1] Though much of the sugar cane was already harvested,[7] what was left was severely damaged. The winds destroyed tender tropical plants like bananas and papayas and uprooted or damaged fruit and nut trees.[1]

___________________

Because of Iniki, chicken coops all over the island were knocked down & the chickens had not been recaptured. Therefore, they went out and populated the whole island with wild chickens. So chickens abound every where & you could hear the roaster all the time screaming out. We'd read about people complaining that they couldn't sleep because of these roosters, but didn't bother us as we were up before they were. I guess this once it was helpful to still be on Ohio time. But they were interesting to watch as I'd never see wild chickens before. Some were very aggressive if you even walked near them. They did know how to keep out of the way of cars! Or maybe drivers were just afraid of them!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Back from Kauai

YES! I was on vacation for a whole week & still have a few more days before I have to go back to work. I didn't post much about it as I'm leery with all this broadcasting of our lives on the Internet & people finding out you are not home & robbing your house. Paranoid thoughts, but they are happening all the time. Let me tell you that it was so hard not to tell everyone every single day of our upcoming trip, but I was good. I didn't blab. We've been planning this trip for over 4 months. Where did we go???? Hawaii! We decided to go to the Garden Island of Kauai which is one of the more northern island of the chain. I wanted to spend time someplace on the beach & quiet. After spending hours looking at each island, I decided that Kauai was just perfect for us. Then we both spent days trying to find good flights, good hotels, and good sight seeing places. I wound up going through Orbitz and got a great package deal. We flew to Chicago the day after Labor Day, then a nine hour flight on United to Honolulu. Were we ever tired as I couldn't sleep the night before & woke Chris up at 2am when our flight wasn't until 8am. We had a nice lunch in Honolulu airport meeting two folks from Arkansas that had been on our Chicago flight. Hi Kara & Mark! Then to Lihue on a flight that was just as exciting as a ride at the county fair. The Hawaiian Airline plane took off fast & furious sweeping over the island giving us a good view of Wikki & Diamond Head, then out to the Pacific & on to Lihue which was another joy ride to the ground. At Hertz, they asked if I wanted a big car...sure I said not realizing that all the parking lot spaces were made for small cars...so I got a "big boat" of a Mercury Marquis and off to the Kauai Coast Resort at the Beach Boy. Chris called & got us an ocean view room the week before. What a beautiful condo! We sat out on our lanai even though we were totally exhausted and watched the surf crash onto the rocks out on the beach. Leaving both patio doors opened, we feel asleep to the sound of the surf. Talk about lulling a person to sleep.

Then awake & days of fun & adventure! More later as we get the hundreds of pictures Chris took while we were there all organized & ready to post. Here is one picture of me & Benjamin Bunny meeting a new friend at the Kauai Coffee Estate.


Monday, September 6, 2010

Another box

I was quit these past months, busy doing this & that. Trying to get things done at work, at home, in my studio. All the time Fiona's health was constantly in the back of my mind nagging me. So to ease my constant brain triggering, I let my heart & hands take over at times and work on this box. Yes, it is a box. Someone gave it to me last year, and I've liked the eight sided shape of it, but didn't like the funny girlie pattern on it. So right after I finished the hedgehog jar, I started on the elephant box. Chris cut the plastic elephant for me & took his dremel to flatten the back & smooth out the rough edges. I used wool felt for the base, epoxied the plastic toy elephant in




the center & just started to bead. As usual, I never have any premade plans on how it is going to look so even I'm surprised at the outcome. I like this box. It is very sparkling with earthy tones to it. The edge of the box is a square stitch chain that is 22 (yes, that's right twenty two) inches long! It was hypnotic to just sit watching Lawrence of Arabia when it was on Turner Classic Movie as my fingers wove the bugles and seed beads into this chain. Then I painted the whole box with black gesso. Linda Apple turned me on to black gesso last year, and I think it really makes a wonderful starting point to a project. When that was dry, I painted the box with two coats of a glitter paint that I bought from Joanns on a whim. I love it! I need to go back & see if they have it in other colors. I'm letting it all dry very well & when it is completed all the way, then I'm going to take some favorite pictures and Mod Podge them into the lid of the box & glue a layer of felt on the bottom. What will go in it? I haven't a clue, but I'm sure some treasure will finds its way in there.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Bead Journal Project-June

When I started this year's Bead Journal Project using the theme of Secret Treasures, I thought it would be a breeze. And so it did in the beginning. I could usually do the beading and construction of the actual recycled jar in only a few days, but choosing the piece to go into the jar and then actually telling the story of the piece is what has taken time and "challenged" my Muse. For June, I was stuck. I had the jar completed and I had the piece to put into my Treasure jar, but the story just wasn't fit to tell anyone.

My Summer started out in a bad tone. I was so excited in going to Lexington to take the Tambour Beading class, but it was an act in frustration for me. I should never have taken the class as it was for advanced people, and I didn't have a clue. In the past, if anything comes along where I use my hands, then I have no problem figuring it out even if my fingers and eyes twisting and turning until I've mastered the technique. But not this time. I struggled so hard to even figure out the first thing causing me to get more and more frustrated as the weekend went along. And when I get frustrated with something, that is it! I do the "sour grapes" thing trying to talk myself into hating what it is that I can't do. But I paid for this class, so I went even though I'd only spend 3-4 hours a day because I was determined NOT to let this foil my supposedly fun filled weekend. I'm usually a very cheery fun student wanting to talk & chat & socialize with my fellow students, but not this time either. I don't know if it was that I felt so out of place, or my frustration just put a big aura of "don't talk to her" sign around me. I was isolated in my inability to figure this all out. I finally did, but by then it was too late. My mood was ruined, and that was that. So began my Summer.

I enjoyed going out to Tacoma for the Puget Sound Bead Festival meeting new people & learning new techniques (which didn't frustrate me this time around) and visiting with my best buddy. But under all this was calls from Ohio telling me Fiona was getting more & more ill. I enjoyed my week, but I knew there was going to be pay back. And brother was there and still is. So all along there has been this dark undertone to everything this Summer. As too it has with the story that I wanted to tell about my June BJP.



For June, I wanted to put my class ring from Portsmouth High into a green jar, but I was so black with mood swings about everything that all I could think of were dark sad thoughts. I love my baby brother, Victor, so much. He & I can talk for hours about everything, but he is such a busy man with his 4 growing children, but I called him to talk to him about Portsmouth and this rage I carried in me. He grew up in Portsmouth. He was born in Portsmouth. He loves Portsmouth. Me? My parents moved back to Portsmouth Ohio in 1967 when I was in 8th grade from Los Angeles. It was a nightmare for me being pulled out of school and friends I'd known since 3rd grade and put into a strange situation that was beyond coping. I still have so many bad memories of going to school and living there. I wanted to write about this ring, but how to do that & NOT get caught up in hate. The ring itself is my version of difference. Everyone else bought their class rings from the vendor that came into the High School so all their rings could look alike except for small differences. I didn't want that. I was different and was treated different, so I wanted something I could wear on my finger to show that I was what they all saw me as...strange, different, odd. I talked to Victor about this, and told him I truly wanted to get all this away from me. I thought blogging about all these past experiences of those 5 years would help me get this out of me. To be sixteen years younger than I is something when he with his soothing voice told me, I needed to put that ring in the jar along with all my dark black thoughts and seal it up and never open it again. Let all that wither in that jar and then instead write about good thoughts about Portsmouth. So I am going to do that. I put the ring in the jar last night when I finished the pictures...the past is in there with it.

Things I remember about Portsmouth:

Walking along the foggy streets dashing from one pool of light pouring down from the street lamps.
Rolling down the blazing leave colored hills around Portsmouth in the Fall when Daddy hunted for berries in the brambles.
Eating hamburgers on a snow day with money we'd made shoveling snow with Jerry and Cheryl.
The day Victor was born.
Meeting Chris for the very first time at Shawnee State's library and knowing this was HIM.
Sitting on the front porch of our 11th street house swinging and singing with Jerry & Cheryl while Jerry attempted to let the whole state of Ohio hear his off key voice.
Sitting on the Flood wall watching the barges slowly crawl up and down the Ohio River.
Riding my bicycle up the hill with the frosty hair pulling hairs from out of my cap.
Sitting with Grandma on her huge porch in August listening to the insects sing.
Cheryl & I laying on our beds listening to Bread over and over again on our turn table.
Playing in the sprinklers with Jeannette and Teresa.
Noel Family gatherings where my uncle who had a blue grass band would let me play my Accordian with them and not grimcing.
Buying my first car and being so proud of its paisley top and interior.
Picking the peas out of Teresa's Vegetable soup.
Watching Star Trek IN COLOR with Grandpa who'd then drive me back home because everyone else was watching Bewitched.
Sundays with everyone crowded around the television watching Bonanza.
The Christmas season downtown where all the stores where decorated and everyone was truly happy.
The candy stand at Kresages where the lady would let you have 25 cents worth of chocolate covered anything!
My first real adult job as a Pharmacy Technician at Scioto Memorial Hospital
Spending the nights with Mom Gray rocking in chairs and listening to radio plays.
Eating homemade noodles at my Aunt Rosie's house.
Telling jokes to my Uncle's Doc & Charles and they laughed!
Christmas I gave Victor the 1000 piece Martian landscape kit and seeing my Dad roll his eyes.
Driving my Plymouth Satellite out into Shawnee Forrest on a dirt road, rolling out a blanket and just sitting quiet listening to the breeze.
Taking Victor to school on his first day. And the teacher thinking I was his Mom.
Victor calling me Mom and laughing as he ran way.
Cheryl & I walking down to Shaeffers to get a bottle of Pepsi.
Icy cold sips of water at Kenny Springs.
Tangerine ice cream.
Getting a fog pass at the Johnda Lou drive in in Wheelersburg while trying to watch Marthon Man.
Driving around Shawnee Forrest with Chris at night.
Our first apartment in Portsmouth with plastic curtains.
Cheryl and Jerry's wedding.
Dad being so proud of his Meat Processing shop.
Grandma Gifford walking us downtown and buying me a lavender blanket because she knew my "blood was thinned out" from living in LA.
My graduation party.
Getting accepted at Ohio State.
Daddy holding my hand the night before I left.
Mom packing all my things into a trunk.
Looking at pictures of long passed people with Mom and Grandma.
Going through Grandma's house looking at all her stuff while she tells us stories about each piece.
Our dog Buck. Our cat Terry.
Toby jumping into bed with me after Jeannette had gone to school.
Teaching Victor to read.
Rocking Victor in the chair late at night while he was teething.
Taking Jeannette & Teresa to Mound Park drugs to get their school supplies
Spending hours at the Portsmouth Library.
The dark hall ways at PHS and that one staircase by the auditorium.
Paula and I in the high school play "Pennys from Heaven" where we didn't stretch out the balloons for the performance and made everyone laugh when we adlibed the scene.
Walking back and forth at Richard's News trying to find the perfect paper back.
Crispy Creme donuts and hot chocolate.
The juke box at Pizza Pub.
Family. Friends. Chris.
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Now to live my life with all these good thoughts embraced within my soul.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Beaded Jars

What a Summer! All I can say is thank goodness it is September 1st. Since I got back from Seattle, we've been back & forth to the Vet so many times with Fiona. There were days in the beginning when I thought she was not going to live. Her Diabetes diagnosis was a real shock to Chris & I. We had no idea, then on top of that she got Septicemia from a Bladder infection. She lost 7 pounds, was so lethargic, and would not eat. Slowly we've increased her insulin, changed her diet so many times, and finally...FINALLY have her semi regulated. She is blind from the Diabetes and is slowly adapting to getting around without her vision. She had so many bad days last month, that we cried so many times seeing her exhausted and drained of energy. Then one day, she perked up and demanded to go outside for a walk. A WALK! We both cried with happiness. Every day she gets better and better. She had energy, she demands to eat, she waits after eating so I can give her her shot, and she has learned to go in and out the back and front and yesterday she jumped up onto the couch without help. So, I've been a worry wart.

Work has had its ups and downs. It has been so busy with the hospital full many days and the ER just overcrowded and very busy. It has to be the heat. Oh yes...the heat! This is the 5th hottest Summer in Ohio. My electric bill can attest to that. Sometimes I'm just happy to be at work to stay cooled. We have air conditioning in the house, but it is getting old and do I really want to pay that much money? So we keep it a little warmer than normal. Most of the time it does not bother me...because I'm in the basement creating!

Byzantium shut its doors in August. I cannot divulge how much I spent in those last weeks. Let's just say I won't have to buy beads for years & I have some lovely new pieces of jewelry to wear. I bought two of the seed bead racks from the store. I wanted something to remember Byzantium by. Chris hung it up and I spent three days sorting through beads & hanging them all up. I've got to get a picture of that to share as it is something quite amazing. I also got invited to teach at 1 Stop Bead Shop here in Columbus. We are working together on getting at least one class for the Fall. I'm also working on finishing an on line class with A is for Artistry. Boy that is hard. I also had a week there when the stress from Fiona's illness was so much that I got Hal my sewing machine out and sewed up a dozen monsters.



And I've been working on my recycling theme too. I gave a challenge to the gals over at A Bead Story to use plastic toys/animals into making a piece of ART! Here is one of the pieces I came up with. Cynthia & I were at a gift shop in Ocean Shores Washington, when we saw these adorable animals. We each picked out a couple and decided they'd be perfect for the challenge. I decided to use the trio of Hedgehogs to begin. I also got into my box of junk & found an old Avon plastic jar that had some type of body cream. So out came the beads and sequins, and I completed this beaded jar in a week. I wanted to keep the basic jar clear so that pretty vintage buttons could be kept inside. Funny, but when I took this over to 1 Stop for everyone to see, they could still smell the body lotion when I opened the jar. This was a fun project & I have a feeling you'll be seeing more of these from me in the future. I also completed a box with the plastic elephant, but you'll have to wait on that one.



So here I am wanting to complete some things for September. I also need to play catch up on my Bead Journal Project. I had a real collapse of inspiration in telling the stores behind the the Treasure jars, but I think I'm on the road to recovery. I also have a vacation coming up soon. We are going to Hawaii for a 2nd honeymoon. Chris has a brand new camera so I'm sure there will be lots of great pictures.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Beading for a Cure 2011







This is Mother's Love. She is finally completed and photographed for the Beading for a Cure 2011 challenge and competition. This is an OOAK (original one of a kind) doll made by me (Dot Lewallen). I purchased the kit from the Beading for a Cure organization & added one bead type, sequins, a pendent, and crystal Rivolis to this hand made doll form. These are the 5 images I'm sending into the competition judging. Mother's Love will be auctioned off in the month of March/April on eBay for our charity with money going to the Colo-Rectal Cancer research.

Enjoy.
dot

Thursday, July 29, 2010

End of an Era


I thought today I'd write about my favorite bead store, Byzantium. As I sit here & try to come up with something to say about Joyce and all the girls at Byzantium is that I'm sad to be losing a long close friend. Byzantium has been in business for 25 years & has been a bedrock for the art community in Columbus offering beads to excite and delight everyone. It also is a haven for those looking for inspirations and imagination with all the things Joyce has collected over the years from African drums, tibetian prayer bowls, Haiti Voodo Flags, Navajo jewelry, silver pieces from Afghanistan, Nepal jewelry, beaded Hoichu masks, carved fetish, African trade beads, gemstones from all over the world, Central American jewelry, plus just about everything else you can imagine. And all of this has got to go as Joyce has decided to retire & spend time with her husband Jeff doing the things she hasn't done since being a owner of a busy bead store has kept her from just average things some folks take for granted. She wrote in an e-mail when people asked her "well, what are you going to do now that you are retired". I can hear her small laugh when she wrote she was going to work in her garden, eat breakfast AND dinner with her husband, take a daily walk & bead! Joyce has no time to bead at all! So hopefully she'll get her wish.

But for people like me it is a sad time. Every time I go to the store, there is less and less left as every day she has more & more discounts. Oh and shall I say that more & more is coming home with me! I've been helping out some selling items and it has been a thrill. I've seen more unusual and interesting thing than in all the years that I've pressed my nose to the glass cases trying to see what was hidden away. Because of that, I've got to add to my collection some interesting pieces of silver jewelry and rings. I've also purchases a string of black coral with sterling silver inlays that I'd never seen before. I have bags & bags of vintage French sequins that are someday going to make a lovely dark lady mermaid. I've also got to see old friends who I haven't seen in years & students come up to me giving me a hug and try to talk but tears are in all our eyes. Monday I went in & there was my very first bead embroidery teacher Rena standing there larger than life. It was like a big old reunion as she lives out of town & we lost track. We hugged, kissed & exchanged e-mails. Each time I leave, I turn to say goodbye to a place that means so much to me, as here was where I first got to bead bug!

But I'm happy for Joyce & blessed that she has been there to encourage me & LOL! help me with picking out colors for my teaching kits! Joyce knows I have a real problem doing blue kits! Joyce also gave me the confidence to teach and to publish articles. Roxanne, Corby, Tammy, Larrisa, Laine and all the other girls have given me hugs & thumbs up with every item I bring in to show. So you see, it is like having a long time loving friend pass away.

I'm going in Saturday to find more treasures to add to my collection & to see if they need help with customers as Saturday is the 75% off day. Yikes! So far, I've heard the last day Byzantium will be open will be August the 7th or longer. I saw that I'm off that day & will go in hopefully to see bare walls as all the goodies will have found their way to new homes, and to say my last farewell to friends.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Fiona progress

Well, Fiona has turned the corner. She started to want to eat Wednesday night. I wasn't sure if my Fiona was even going to be around this time of the week as she was very close to leaving Chris & I. I'd come home every morning & see her just laying on the floor near the water dish. I couldn't see her breathing & was so afraid to see if she was cold or not. I'd call her name, and they she would stir slightly. I'd pick her up and give her such a hug that she made it another night. So imagine how on Wednesday evening when I gave her a tin of Cesars and she gobbled it down. Both Chris & I were in tears. He looked at me. I looked at him, and it was relief. We were so happy we opened another tin of the Cesars & merrily she gobbled it up. Naturally she had Frodo & Arwen to help her clean up the mess as she cannot see what she's dropped.

Friday morning we took her in to Dr. Miller. Her blood sugar was still elevated so we are going to increase her insulin and try to feed her more protein rich food and snacks. Oh, she loves boiled eggs & pork rinds. He laughed & said whatever she'll eat is great as we need to get her to eat & gain some weight. I know this might be hard to believe to dog owners, but she lost 7 pounds in 3 weeks! Last night she devoured 1/4 cup of Iams kibble and a whole can of Alpo. I know all those prayers that people have been sending to me have been answered. We have a ways to go to regulate her blood sugar, but she is alert and knows her name. She's even investigating the downstairs & navigating areas around the table. I just need to remember to shut the basement door or put the gate up so she doesn't fall down the stairs. But I'm so happy that Fiona is showing some improvement. Thank you everyone for thinking of me & my sweet old Scottish lass.

I almost have my BFAC completed. The beading is all done, and all I need to do is to finish one last assemble piece then it is pictures, posting, and mailing away for next years auction. I can't believe that it has taken my 3 months to complete this project & she is going away to live at someone's home forever. I just hope she finds a good home next year & we are able to get a nice hunk of cash for our charity. Oh, I'll post more next year when the auctions start.

I'm not much at sewing, but I want to finish this sample for the Lily's September class. I have it 75% done & need to sew with Hal some components to finish. Guess what? Can't find the power cord to my Janome! I had to actually clean off my work table & some of the racks of fabic, but can't find. I wonder if I #1 lost it someplace/somewhere-god-knows-where, #2 misplaced it in the piles of stuff in the back section of the studio, or #3 it was stolen my those mysterious trolls that hide in the crawl space and always get blamed for missing things. I wonder if my old 30 year old Brother will still work? I do know where it is! I have pants to mend too as I have to put a little hem in Chris' new trousers. And did I say, I'm geared up to sew on that blasted machine for a change. Oh well, hopefully Chris knows where "I" put it! Probably the same place "I" put the power cord to my cell phone!

And now for something interesting. Lark is having a give away on their blog for three fabulous books. Check it out & put a comment to have the chance to win.

hots as Hades in Ohio...but I'm chilled out in my basement trying to find that blasted power cord!