Monday, June 10, 2013

Simple things

Isn't it just the simple things that sometimes will take you away from all the problems of life and thrill you to the core?  I'm talking about listening to a song, or smelling a delicious aroma, or just feeling the arms of your loved one around you.  This weekend for me it was just knowing that Chris was home, and I was not alone.  Things are improving, and he is on the road to a quick recovery.  We need to review our menu and add more vegetable and fruits to our diet.  Goodbye fried are killing us. 

When Chris was in the hospital, I took Sammy many walks through the neighborhood and along the park perimeter.  To feel the warm Sun embrace my face and the scent of the woods besides the Rec Center really made me feel alive.  I spent the evenings before work chatting with Chris in the hospital and then beading.  I worked on this necklace after one of my & Sammy's walks through the woods.  The filtered Sunlight gave the greens and browns a luscious color palette that I tried to copy.  Each day I also checked on our small garden.  The tomatoes are starting to grow, and my squash plants have blossoms.

Sammy was such a comfort for me each evening.  He would strut and constantly be aware.  He was a good boy too when I left him every night.  One night I thought I would leave the television on so he wouldn't be so lonely, but decided to just let be.  Each morning the sweet boy would be waiting for me at the bottom of the steps for his morning walk.  I'm so lucky to have him.  Still can't believe it hasn't even been 2 months. 

Thing are coming back to normal with Chris home.  Even though I awoke to rain beating on the roof, I was just so happy to listen to both of my boys calmly sleeping.  

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Battle DragonRyder

Today I just don't have any energy after this past week dealing with my husband's health issues. He had a kidney stone which went well, but then he developed nausea and vomiting.  I see a repeat from the health nightmare of 2010/2011 he had in and out of hospitals for 2 straight months trying to find an end to the relentless nausea he suffered with.  This time, I hope it is resolved faster than last time.  For one thing, since I changed jobs I'm able to take him to Ohio Health instead of Mt. Carmel.  So far his treatment at Ohio Health is far better than with the other hospital system.   I'm just hoping he recovers and comes home soon to me and our Sammy.

While I was working on this piece for the past several months off and on, I kept thinking to myself that the doll must be a warrior on her mount.  Originally when I finished her, I wanted to call this Battle of the Bulge as I decided that this is the time to do something about my own weight and health.  I've always had weight issues my whole life.  My Mother was a very small woman as so my one brother and sister (but I never realized their low weight was because they all had bad oral health which  kept them from eating normal).  Beside them, I always felt like a giant and when it came time for clothes shopping, I was never a happy girl.  Everyone would be looking for clothes on one side of the store while I was on the other.  My Aunt called me chubby and when she's bring clothes she got tired of for me she would have me try them on in front of her and then comment that I needed to lose some weight to fit into them.  I dieted all the time roller coasting from up to down never thinking that all that yo-yo dieting was doing damage to my body and my self esteem.  Name a diet in the past 40 years, and I can probably say that I was on that.  Pills, diet supplements, exercise programs...well they all worked but never stuck.  Then about 15 years ago I read a book called Woman Who Run with Wolves.  This book struck a cord within me and let me realize that I am who I am and I needed to be proud of that.

In Women Who Run With the Wolves, Dr. Estés unfolds rich intercultural myths, fairy tales, and stories, many from her own family, in order to help women reconnect with the fierce, healthy, visionary attributes of this instinctual nature. Through the stories and commentaries in this remarkable book, we retrieve, examine, love, and understand the Wild Woman and hold her against our deep psyches as one who is both magic and medicine. Dr. Estés has created a new lexicon for describing the female psyche. Fertile and life-giving, it is a psychology of women in the truest sense, a knowing of the soul.

I learned that I was never going to be Twiggy thin now would I ever wear a size 8!  I learned to be happy with the body I had...then........ life just got in the way.  Doesn't it always?  Stress from both our jobs, early retirement for him and then his health problems just made me lose track of my own health.  Plus taking another job where a donut shop was open 24 hours didn't help me at all.  I let myself go in the past 6 years and started to see the weight slowly go up.  I ignored it saying I'd do something tomorrow.  Well, tomorrow just never came and I kept eating like there was no tomorrow.  Then I started to see pictures of myself and realize that tomorrow was here.

 I've been following a facebook page of a courageous woman who daily tells her tale of weight loss, exercise training, and how she copes with the success and the failures.  She has been a true inspiration for me.  But just reading and cheering on someone else doesn't make ME healthier, does it?  Not at all.  SO...on June the 4th 6 months until I turn 60 my Tomorrow arrived.  I AM going to take control and find the Wild Woman within myself and embrace her.  I've never really admitted my weight anywhere, but I'm going to be just as brave as Sig and post that here.  Six months before I turn 60 years old, I weighed 194 pounds.  What a number!  What is my goal?  I'm realistic here and decided that I would love to weigh 150 pounds which was what I weighed all during my teens through 30s.  I can't believe I thought I was fat back then...heck I was healthy and looked pretty good.  So I want to lose 44 pounds in 6 months, but I'll be happy if I can achieve a 20 pound lose in 6 months.  SO this is my tomorrow and I have my doll to help cheer me on in my Battle for Health. 

Here I am in May at 194 pounds.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Suzanne Golden

Many of my friends are heading out today and the rest of the weekend to Milwaukee for the Bead and Button show.  I had to chuckle last night when I saw someone refer to it as the BEAD MECCA.  And it truly is a place of camaraderie, awe, and just plain old fun.  I wrote to several this morning as they were getting ready to get onto the train, plane, or automobile wishing them good travel weather and then complaining to them that I had to stay here and just be green with envy.  I thought about all those hours upon empty hours as your stomach is churning with excitement to see old friends, lots of glorious classes and shopping, meeting new friends in classes and events, but mostly seeing the displays of jewelry and bead sculpture adorned on people walking through the convention center and on display for the Bead Dream Challenge.  If it was me waiting for the next connection or just at the road side stop for a snack before jumping back into traffic, I would want to wet my appetite for the big show with Suzanne Golden Presents: Interviews with 36 Artist Who Innovate with Beads.  Well, unfortunately for me, I'm not able to attend this year, but that is not going to stop me from taking this week and enjoying using Suzanne's book to cruise from page to page getting to "meet" new artist and "revisit" with those artist I follow on either Facebook or their blogs.  I must say that though not like being there with all the excitement but Suzanne Golden Presents makes feel as if I AM in Milwaukee.

Suzanne's book was published in April 2013 by Lark Jewelry and Beading.  Once again, Lark has given us a delicious book filled with Suzanne's interviews with bead artist throughout the world.  The book "offer...lush images and interviews with every artist [personally chosen by Suzanne}, this volume is pure inspiration.  Suzanne herself is an inspiration for any artist indulging in beads or any other medium through her use of bold colors and beads "that nobody else would have the courage to touch for fear of not being taken seriously"'  Well now, doesn't that just want to make you jump over to her website and check it all out for yourself?  Or why not friend her on Facebook and follow her on her journey of just living full steam.

With Suzanne Golden Presents: Interview with 36 Artist Who Innovate with Beads, I've chosen with this review five artist that I had never been introduced to before.  I've seen their work in magazines or on the Internet, but had never really be "introduced" to them.  I chose these three because they all work with the artistic form just as I love to do.  Many of them like myself use whatever they can find such as plastic toys.  I'd like to also introduce you to these five artist who have made my heart pound a little faster seeing some of the fantastic creations they've come up with. 

Felieke Van der Leest

Felike van der leest is an incredible bead artist  from the Netherlands.  Her work can be seen in galleries in Amsterdan, NewYork, and in Tokyo.  I really enjoy the humor in her work, and she likes to recycle her collection of plastic animals  into works of art that amuse and delight viewers.  She uses bead crochet, bead embroidery, and other bead weaving techniques.  Masterfully designed with a big dash of humor makes Felike an artist I can identify with and am excited to have been introduced to her and her work.  You can see more of Flike's work here on her website.

Sari Liimatta

Sari uses a technique I haven't seen done since I was making Christmas ornaments back in the 70s.  She uses toy animals and actually pins the beads onto them creating unique and original pieces of art that amuse and makes the looker want to reach out an caress  the piece.  Sari says that "I find a toy animal which I examine thoroughly to get an idea of how it NEEDS ME.  Then I connect the toy with a suitable story...sometimes the theme of the piece needs to be told in a very forced manner.  Letting the pins show is a way I can do this.  It is a tool....."  Each of Sari's piece does pull a piece of emotion from the viewer.  You can see more of  Sari's work on her website.

Jan Huling

I got to discovery one of Jan's pieces the year I went to Bead and Button show in Milwuakee.  I stood and gazed at her A Gentle Man getting lost in the multiple colors and hypnotizing designs.  I was amazed to find out that Jan glues her beads onto the form.  Jan states that "I tried needlework, jewelry making, decoupage, and other things but didn't feel super inspired.  Gluing beads onto stuff just felt right".  And she has found an amazing way to share her magical palette and imagination with the work.  More of Jan's work can be seen on her website

Uliana Volkhovskaya

Uliana is a self taught artist from the Ukaraine.  She is a supported in her creative work by her husband and her daughter.  Her work is whimsical and announces the joy of life and small things in life. But her work is far from small.  The intricate weaving explodes giving her figures life and joy to the viewer.  What is also amazing is that Uliana states "most of the figures I make are dynamic with MOVABLE LIMBS.  I am inspired by cartoons, funny pictures and scenes from daily life".  To see more of Uliana's work you can visit her website

Christy Puetz

Christy works with a group called Beads of Courage, a nonprofit organization that creates arts-in-medicine programming for children coping with cancer and other serious illness.  I really felt drawn to Christy's work as I myself have just started working at Nationwide Children's hospital in Columbus Ohio.  I intend to spend more time investigating this group and found out how I too can make a different on the lives of those small children who are so brave while learning to cope.  Christy has a series that really intrigued me called "Lost Forest".  She states that non of the creatures have eyes.  They hold poses that that make them appear frozen in time, waiting for onlookers to exit so they can secretely move around in the shadows.    She says that choosing beads for a piece is "like going on a treasure hunt with a specific map".  Her pieces all awake a primal desire to further investigate the mystery behind the pose.  More of Christy's work can be seen on her website. 

These are just five of the thirty six artist in Suzanne Golden's book.  There are so many more that are familiar to me and just as many that I've never be exposed to before.  I hope like me, you take the time to explore each and every single one of them.  Enjoy the interview in the book and then go out onto the Internet and further immerse yourself in glorious beads, glorious ART.  Enjoy. 

Disclosure...As a reviewer of  products from Lark Books, I receive the book 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 Lark Books for my endorsement as it pertains to the products received and reviewed.