Sunday, May 30, 2010

Best of 2010

I was looking around and saw that the whole show catalog is up for viewing on the
Best of 2010:Ohio Designer Craftsman show

Chris & I are both under Mixed Media

One more day to work & then I'm off for 7 days. Five of those, I'll be down in Lexington taking a Tambour beading class with Prof Bob Havens. Can't wait...just have to get through one more day of work. Going to take my BFAC doll with me. I really have to get pictures taken of her tomorrow to post. Also I DO have to remember to take my camera with me this coming week to take pictures of this French beading technique. I was also looking over at another embroidery technique called Brazilian embroidery. I might get hooked on pun intended.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

FABRICations at the High Road Gallery

My doll making group Guilded Lilies) is having a Art show over at the High Road Gallery in Worthington Ohio for the next 5 weeks. If you are in Columbus Ohio, come on over and check out all the beautiful dolls and quilts. There are over 200 pieces of art to be viewed. A free Artist Reception will be held on June 6th with food, drinks, and lots of fun.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Look what I found surfing...

Click to see Gertrude

I was on Facebook just looking different people's comments about Lost and other things going on in this world when I saw a Friend Request come up. I always click to see who the person is as sometimes folks want to "friend" you just to send you tons of spam about their products or to brag that they have a million friends...oh, like who doesn't? LOL. So I click on this person's Facebook profile & it says she is on Play. So I click on that & find the page (link above) with a link about Gertrude's New Hat and Beading for a Cure. I was amazed and thankful too that more people will see the charity that has such a big place in my heart. Thank you so much for blogging about my hippo girl.

I'm busy beading my new doll for 2011. No new pictures yet as I've had one busy weekend. Friday I spent all day getting things together to teach a mixed media robot class to the Guilded Lilies. Thank goodness Chris helped me even though he was suffering from bronchitis. Then all day for the business meeting & class. Evening until I went to work (yes, I worked Saturday night) was compiling information into an Excel database so Chris could print out the spread sheet for the FABRICations show at High Road Gallery and print out individual name tags for each of the 192 entries. Sunday was my niece, Shannon, graduation from Capital Law School. Beautiful ceremony at the historic Ohio Theater and then a reception in the Rotunda of the Ohio Statehouse. Back home Sunday to print & organize everything. Then installation from 1-3 of FABRICations at the High Road Gallery here in Worthington Ohio. We were actually all finished by 3pm! I had help from Gigi, Rebecca, Susan, and Linda. Then I took Linda home with a little stop at Byzantium to put postcards out for out show. Oh, did I say I also watched LOST finale on Sunday night. Not sure about how I feel about that show. I've watched it since the first pilot & have loved it all. Now I've got to try to cope with no more LOST and the ending that I felt was too cliche. Oh well. Can we all be happy all the time.

This week is going to be just as crazy. Tomorrow our hospital lab is actually physically moving from the main hospital to a Medical Office Building. I have no idea what this is going to entail. I do know I have to stay over in the morning to give a hand. Plus I'm working 6 days in a row until next Monday. My niece Amanda is leaving Sunday morning to start Pharmacy School out in Phoenix & I'll miss her so much. Then next Tuesday I'll be heading to Lexington for the Tambour Beading class at the Univ of Ky. So lots going on...naturally with lots of beading to do also. Thank goodness I talked to Shawn from Whimbeads and got more seed beads to finish the doll for next year.

And I PROMISE to get a picture of Mother's Love soon.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Of Dogs and Dolls

Two weeks ago, I was downstairs in my Art Cave merrily sewing along trying to come up with my doll form so I could start on the Beading For A Cure 2011 piece. Chris was out cutting the grass which grows wildly this time of the year. All three of the Scotties were upstairs barking and barking which is also normal as they want to go out and run up and down the fence and chase the children walking to the park behind our house. I hear Chris call to me that he had a surprise. I walked upstairs thinking...oh no...Fiona killed something. He had his back to me and then turned around with a puppy in his arms. YES! A PUPPY! He said that one of our neighbors were out walking her dog and saw this puppy inside our fence cringing behind the boulder whimpering. Chris of course thought "what has Dot done now" so he went back and there she was...clean, pretty, pink rhinestone collar around her neck, and oh so frighten. He picked her up and instantly she gave him a big kiss on his nose. I grabbed her as soon as I saw her and oh! she just emitted puppy smell that made me almost swoon. She could be no more than 8 weeks old after I looked at her, and no, she could not have gotten into my yard. Someone had to drop her in my backyard. I went with her around the neighborhood thinking someone got a new puppy, it got out, and a stranger just thought it was mine. The little girl next door helped, but we could not find the owner. Meanwhile, my three Scotties were TICKED! They didn't ask for another canine mouth to feed. Luckily we still kept all our puppy crates so I put her away and Frodo laid next to the door starring at her & growling. I went on the internet and there found out what I dreaded..she was a Pit Bull puppy. Why did I dread this, well I live in Franklin County and here Pit Bulls are considered vicious dogs with many deed restrictions for property owners, and also a very bad reputation as many people have been mauled or worse by Pit Bull owners who have treated their dogs wrong or who have these dogs for fighting. Yes, Michael Vic isn't the only one who raises Pit Bulls for fighting.

I knew I couldn't keep this puppy if we couldn't find her a home. But look at that face...and she was so sweet. I know that Pit Bulls can be very loving and devoted dogs. I also knew that if she was mine, she would be laid back and sweet as it if how they are treated that mainly matters, but my three Scotties could not even think about adding another dog to their home. And Chris kept saying "nope, nope, nope." But once again...LOOK AT THAT FACE. She was house broken, she slept all night long, she adored me, and did I say she was absolutely the sweetest puppy I've seen. But I could not keep her no owner came around looking for her. I did NOT want to take her to the shelter as in Franklin County Pit Bull are not adopted out. I was almost in tears as I could no keep her and when she tried to nurse Fiona & Fiona did the double take and growl, I just knew I couldn't have this lovable puppy. So I went to the Internet and found a Pit Bull rescue group here in Columbus. I sat with tears in my eyes and wrote to them pleading for help. I'm not kidding you, but they called me 15 minutes later offering to help. At first they said I had to take her to the shelter, but one of their rescue group would get her IF she was pure Pit Bull. I had a sad heart and kissed her before I went to bed. The next morning, the rescue group called again and said they had a foster home for her. I was jumping with joy. That evening Nicole the foster Mom came to pick up the Princess Puppy. She said she was pure breed and probably only 7 weeks old...and this made me smile...probably would find a good home in a week. I was sad to see her go, but oh...I know I could not keep her. I've done rescue in the past with Scotties and know that a Rescue group is very picky about the type of homes they place a rescue in. So I felt my puppy girl would not only find a good safe home, but one that would love and nurture her. If you are interested in helping out this wonderful group of rescue workers please go here to Measle's Animal Haven Pit Bull Rescue and give a donation. One more thing about Pit Bulls, and I could write so much here, but maybe later...that same evening that Nicole came to pick up Princess Puppy, Franklin County Sheriff went into a home looking for drug sellers to find a Pit Bull breeding house. There were over 14 Pit Bulls in the basement of this house caged up and used for breeding. One Mother had just had a litter of puppies. All the dogs were taken to the shelter and probably all would be destroyed. I still am choked up thinking of those dogs living their lives in a dirty filthy basement so some jerk could make money off of them for fighting. We have laws against animal cruelty in our county, but nothing could even match the horror and pain these dogs were put through. Yes, this is the exact same day that Princess was rescued. I still can barely write without tears choking my throat. Enough...I can't write more.

Okay, now to beads and hopefully the tears will dry on my cheeks so I can tell you about Beading for a Cure 2011. First off, here is the kit for 2011. I need to use at least ONE of each bead in the upcoming project. These are from WhimBeads. We purchase the kit.

We are allowed to add ONE bead type to the kit along with sequins and anything else that is not considered a bead. was wonderful and donated these lovely rivolis and the center pendent (I'll have to find that link later) for me to use in my doll.

And here is the doll form that I made. It is going to be called Mother's Love. The "baby" is going to be wrapped in a white fur to counter the crystals and sequins on the Mother's body. I've already begun beading and have painted the Mother's face.

Stay tuned for more work on this project.

Disclosure...As a reviewer of products at, I receive the Rivolis and pendant 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 for my endorsement as it pertains to the products received and reviewed.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

April's BJP and Mother's Day

I've had this piece done for awhile now, but just haven't found the "voice" to tell the story that goes along with my Bead Journal April-Secret Treasure. I think waking up this afternoon and realizing it is Mother's Day also got me to thinking about finally what to write about my treasure the resides in the beaded April jar. This is about my Maternal Great Grandmother, Rosa Bell Gray. My whole life she has been an idol to me. She grew up in a log cabin in the hills of Northern Kentucky in coal country. She married young, had two children, and lost her husband in one of the killer floods the area is known to have. She then took her two small children and worked in a boarding house cooking for the miners. She enjoyed this life because she was independent, but she always was thinking of the life of her two small children and wanted to get them away from the coal mines and the place their Daddy died. So, she met my Great Grandfather while he was visiting the area, feel in love with him, and moved up North to Portsmouth Ohio. This was in 1912. She told me moving to Ohio was a shock as the city was so noisy and filled with people. But she joined a church, met the neighbors and began to have children with her new husband. Her first child in Ohio was my Grandmother, Mae.

From the very first moment that I remember Grandma Gray (everyone else called her Mom, but I just couldn't do that) she handed me a needle and thread, turned me around, and marched me into her quilting parlor (ie, the front bedroom of her shot gun house where the quilting frame was set up permanently). She then taught me how to make tiny even stitches and though my great aunts told me they were crooked, she never criticized me ever! She said I'd get better with time and practice. Couple things about her. She always wore an apron. She had a collection of aprons and every day she'd put on a cleaned and pressed apron. Then she'd get out one of her brooches and put it on her dress...did I say also that she always got up at 5 am to do her chores? Sometimes when she'd go out, she'd forget to take her apron off as it was just a part of her. I can't tell you how many times she'd go to church & there would be that apron! Another thing about her was that she detested television. She said it was the devil's box and was making people stupid. That was back in 1967. Can you imagine what she'd say now? But she loved her radio. Sometimes I stay overnight with her and we'd sit in matching rocking chairs doing a bit of embroidery on scarves listening to radio shows. Not music, but plays and sometimes talk radio. She also LOVED to talk, gossip, and laugh!

When I was in 9th grade, for a school English project we had to write about the one person who influenced us the most. I wrote about my Great Grandma and got an A. When my Mother read my paper, she was shocked that I thought of just a house wife as my idol. GG wasn't just a housewife to me. She was independent, spoke as an equal to anyone, was an artist, and just downright enjoyed life...period! My Mother made me take that paper to Grandma Gray, and I was shaking when I let her read it. She smiled & told me she had a surprise for me the next weekend. She was going to take me to Kentucky so I could see where she lived. GG never drived, but she got my Great Uncle David and Great Aunt Rosie to go with us. We all packed into the car & headed across the Ohio River bridge into Kentucky and drove, and drove, and drove these long narrow lanes up hills, down hill, across rivers, and through meadows. It was lunch time and we stopped in front of this General Store that looked like something out of a Walton's episode. Inside the store the aroma of spices and hidden delights attacked my nose. The walls were covered with shelve of all kinds of items from bolts of fabric to Kodak cameras. Around the counter were barrels full of crackers, corn meal, and other things I didn't open to peak at. On the counter were glass jars with candy, pig ears, beef jerky, and sewing items. The middle of the store had a pot belly stove roaring with a fire as it was late October, and yes! there were two rocking chairs facing the fire. GG sat in one chair & motioned me to sit in the other. From behind the counter came a shrunken old man who rushed over to GG..."Rosa? Rosa? Is that really you???" He remembered her after all those years. She laughed her big laughed, got up and hugged him tight. They'd been neighbors when she was growing up. They both sat as I wondered the General Store filling any moment that I motion picture camera would pop out to remind me that I was just in a movie. After having a sandwich made up at the counter and drinking a ice cold 6 oz Coke, we all headed back to the car and on with our trip. We then went to the log cabin where she was born and where her older brother still lived and farmed the land. It was dark, smoky, and had a packed dirt floor. Could this be real in 1969? But it was. He was living there with his Grand daughter who was older than my Mother. I went outside to look at the Kentucky foot hills ablazed with color and thought this indeed was a different world than the small river city town my parent moved too. I couldn't imagine what these people would say if they had been transported to Los Angeles where I grew up. They'd probably be feeling they were part of a movie just as I was feeling. It was a wonderful trip. And I'm so blessed that she showed me her life before moving to "the big city". She was a wonderful person.

Later on, when I met Chris in college back in our hippie days, she was the only person in my family who would "allow" Chris into her house. Why? We didn't get married. Back then we didn't believe in "establishment matrimony" but believe in marriage of the soul. No one let Chris into their house thinking that he refused to marry me. On the contrary...I didn't want to marry! One day, when I took Chris to met GG afraid she'd say the same thing, she stood up as tall as a 4 foot 11 inch woman could with her hands on her hips and told me that she didn't care what my Grandparents and Mother thought...If I loved him, then I loved him and that was good enough for her! We went inside drank some coffee, had some cookies, and were embraced in the warmth of her love. She never judge anyone by society standards. She just loved everyone.

When she died, she didn't have a large estate. When she turned 85 she gave me lots of old photographs as she thought her days were numbered, but she managed to live to 93 vital and without help from anyone. She just called my Grandmother one day, said "Mae, I'm going to die. Come visit me" and three days later she passed away peacefully in the same room where she'd had her children. As the oldest Grand daughter, I was asked what I wanted to remember Grandma Gray. I decided that I wanted one of the brooches she's always wore. Some of the rhinetones were missing, but I got two pieces. I chose this one for my secret treasure box as I remember she wore it to church many times. For the top of the box, I chose the cab of a majestic tree spreading its limbs out to embrace the sky. This cab is exactly what my Great Grandmother did every single day of her life. I wish I could have lived closer to her later in her life so I could have gotten to know her as an adult. We wrote to each other and I visited when in town, but you know how busy you get when you're young and trying to "find" yourself.

I do have two other items from Grandma Gray that I'll treasure forever. The first is my hand pieced baby quilt that she made for me when I was born. The other is a quilt she made for me when I graduated from high school and went away up North to Columbus where "it has to be so cold". They are both worn as I did use them. They are in my cedar chest and when I open it up and see those tiny even stitches, I remember her threading my needle, and guiding my hand. She still guides me. Love you Grandma. Happy Mother's Day.