Saturday, September 29, 2007

Artfest change

I swapped my Saturday class, which was Funky Wallpaper People, with someone who had Creative Characters with Karen O'Brien. I think in my pre-registration frenzy, I messed up my preferred order of classes. Creative Characters is really what I need. Anahata class would have been wonderful, too, but I just don't have the space to work that big. I want to work more on painting in collage, so Karen's class will be perfect. My trading partner and I are both thrilled.

I'm in the throes of getting ready for Art and Soul. I have three jewelry classes and three collage classes. I'm only staying in Portland for two nights, because it's just too hard on my son when I'm gone too long. And, Wednesday is his birthday. I can't be gone for that evening. I'll post photos when I get back.

Monday, September 17, 2007


I came home after a horrible Monday to find my Artfest registration packet waiting for me! It made the rest of the day fade away into nothing. Okay, maybe not *that* much, but it was good.

I got into the following classes:
Thursday - Stephanie Rubiano's Perching Pixies
Friday - Catherine Witherell's PMC Bird Pendants
Saturday - Anahata Katkin's Funky Wallpaper People

Yes, I'm pretty much all over the board this time. I'll be working in really different mediums each day. It should be great fun. I hope my head doesn't explode by the end of the retreat!

Meanwhile, I'm getting ready for Art and Soul in Portland. It's only a couple of weeks away now. I guess I should get my supplies together. I've been working on altering my paper mache house.

I'm also working on ArtsyMama's Sweet and Sinister Swap. If I could figure out how to put the button on this blog, I would. Yes, I'm pathetic! I'm just lucky Blogger has a handy little button for links.

If there is anyone reading this that's going to Artfest or Art and Soul, I'd love to hear from you!

Sunday, September 02, 2007

What happened to summer?

Where did my summer go? My son starts 6th grade on Tuesday. I can't believe it. It's his last year of elementary school. I'm not sure I'm ready for middle school next year. I've found that these transitions are harder on Mom than on him!

Here are some pics of my projects from this summer:This is a fused silver bracelet I made. I love how it moves. The beads include lemon jade and freshwater pearls.

Another fused silve bracelet. I made this in a class with Kriss Silva at the Puget Sound Bead Festival. She's a wonderful teacher.

I also took an enameling class. I love it. The two bigger green pieces are going to be a toggle. Now I just need a kiln so that I can continue to play...

I've been published! I participated in a charm swap hosted by Diane Downs. She submitted it to Belle Armoire for the charm necklace call for entries. It's on page 20 of the Sep/Oct 2007 issue. My charm is the round soldered one. Here's a photo of it that I shared a few months ago: Obviously, I need to work on my jewelry photography skills. It's one thing to make jewelry and art. It's a whole 'nother thing to photograph it well!

Monday, July 16, 2007

I LOVE taking classes!

I arrived home last night after spending 4 days in Tacoma and Seattle. Whew! It was fun, but I'm exhausted.

I took several classes at the Puget Sound Bead Festival in Tacoma. I had great teachers and made really fun projects. I'll have some photos of my creations to share soon. It was my first bead show, so the vendor booths were a bit overwhelming. Too many things to choose from.

I also stayed in Seattle with my friend Stacie for one night. We had a house full of women artists. I haven't laughed that hard in a long time. What an amazing group of women! We made art, laughed, made more art, laughed, ate, get the picture.

I also learned how to pump gas this weekend. Self-serve gas is illegal here in Oregon. I love Washington, but I was really happy to get back to the land of no sales tax and no self-serve gas.

Right now, we are getting ready to go camping at the coast for a few days. I enjoyed my solo trip, but I missed my men. It will be good to have some family time now.


Tuesday, July 03, 2007

She lives!

Okay, I didn't get much "stuff" done on my week off at Memorial Day. But I did get some much-needed naps completed. I needed it.

I have today off, too. And I actually MADE something last weekend!

I looked in my closet and noticed that this year, I've been wearing more green and blue than anything. So, I made this fused fine silver bracelet. The danglies are freshwater pearls, serpentine and lemon jade. I'm making another bracelet in blues and purples. I love dangly bracelets that move. And fusing silver is a blast. If I over-melt a ring, Nicholas gets to heat it into a ball. He loves that.
I'm taking some jewelry making classes in Tacoma next week. I'll have more to share after that.

Saturday, May 26, 2007


Today I'm starting my first week of vacation this year. In fact, it's my first time off SINCE OCTOBER!! Even when my son had a snow day, I worked from home. I have taken a few sick days, but no ME time. I don't recommend this to anyone. (The non-stop work, not the time off.) The work I do is project-based and I had several back-to-back priority projects. Some days, I was up at 5:00 am working on the computer before I got my son up for school. Those projects are successfully done, so I can now use vacation time! I have at least a week off each month until September.

On Friday of this week, I'm taking three colored pencil technique classes. Woo hoo! There's nothing I like doing more than learning new art techniques.

The rest of the week, I'm going to hang out at home and play with my art supplies. I have some new fine silver to fuse and some sterling silver to make into jump rings for chain maille, my newest obsession.

My husband asked me if I wanted him to take a day off this week, so we could have time off together. I said "NO!". LOL. He laughed and said he understood. This is why we have been married for 16 years and plan on staying that way! We give each other space.

Hopefully, I'll have some art projects to share later this week.


Thursday, April 12, 2007

Back again!

Wow. Time *does* fly, whether you're having fun or not!

I can't believe I skipped March all together. It did kind of go by in a blur. I've been working A LOT. Ugh.

I've been cruising my favorite blogs and checking out what everyone made at Artfest this year. I skipped it for some very good reasons, but I really wish I had gone now. I *must* take a class from Anahata Katkin one of these days. I loved what everyone made in her Funky Wallpaper People class!

This month, I signed up for Art and Soul-Portland. Today, I received the confirmation email telling me that I got all my first choice classes! Yahoo! I have a few jewelry classes and several collage classes. I can't wait. This is my "me" time each year. And with Mike going to Egypt for 6 weeks this year and probably deploying next spring, I NEED this!! I have classes with some wonderful teachers. I want it to be October now!

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Go Red for Women

I wanted to post this yesterday, but I was busy working and volunteering at my son's school. The message is still the same today: heart disease is not just for older men. I am living proof.

When I was 41, I started having chest pain. It felt like an elephant was sitting on my chest. I woke up at night with the pain. I thought it was heartburn. I'd get out of bed and sit in the recliner, thinking the sitting up would help it.

I called my doctor's office repeatedly. Chest pain is your magic, move to the front of the line ticket at the doctor's office. My wonderful doctor is in a practice with several other doctors. As it would happen, I saw all the other doctors in the practice over the next three months. They guessed my pain was heartburn, pericarditis (sp? an infection in the lining around your heart), gall bladder problems, etc. The pain didn't go away. They did so many EKGs that I could have put the electrode-thingies on myself! I also had a heart stress-test, which I passed. This went on for over 3 months. I kept asking if it was my heart, but they dismissed it.

My symptoms worsened. I couldn't ride bikes with my 6 yo son. I went for a walk with my husband on the Fourth of July and I had to sit in a stranger's front yard until the pain lessened before I could walk back to the party we were attending.

The next day, I called my doctor's office again. This time, my doctor was the doc seeing patients that called in that day with immediate issues. He took one look at me and why I was there and said, "No more screwing around here. You are having an angiogram this week."

A few days later, I had an angiogram. My right coronary artery was over 90% blocked. I was a heart attack waiting to happen. I had a stent put in the next day.

What my doctor saw in my chart and the others didn't take note of were these things:
* My cholesterol was high. My doc had tried to get me to take medication for it, but my husband and I were trying (unsuccessfully) to have a second child.
* My family has a horrible heart history: my maternal grandmother had her first of 6 heart attacks in her 40's. A cousin on that side of the family had a heart attack in his early 40's. My father had his first major stroke in his early 50's.

The moral of this long story is that women DO get heart disease. Even women in their early 40's or younger! If you have symptoms, keep bugging your doctor. If your doctor doesn't listen, find a new one.

Women are ten times more likely to die of heart disease than of breast cancer. I'm not saying breast cancer isn't important, but heart disease is far more overlooked. I volunteer for the American Heart Association. At heart fairs, I meet little old ladies who are surprised that *they* can get heart disease. Their husbands have heart disease, but they didn't know they could get it, too. If you have a heart, you can develop heart disease.

In the four years my stent placement, I've had no more angina. I have had heartburn. The other part of my lecture here is that it is impossible to tell the difference between angina and heartburn. I've had a couple more angiograms because of this! I'm happy to say that my arteries look marvelous.

Take care of yourselves and go make art!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Snow Day and new art

We woke up this morning to a surprise: freezing rain. Fortunately, it changed to snow after a few hours. School was canceled, so Nicholas was thrilled. He and Dexter (the dog) and a neighbor boy played in the snow for hours. Nicholas and his friend put their excess energy to good use by shoveling the neighbors' walkways.

I've been creating art lately! I was in an art funk for a while, but I'm back on track now. I finished these charms for a swap hosted by the amazing Diane Downs . I sent 37 of these to her last weekend. I can't wait to see the charms I get back. The artists in her swaps always amaze me.

The photo isn't very clear, so I'll describe them. The images are from very old German margarine cards that I bought on Ebay. (My favorite 24-hour art supply store!) Why did companies put cards of bird art in packages of margarine? I have no idea. I scanned them, adjusted the color and printed them on transparencies. I LOVE working with transparencies! They are sandwiched between tiny pieces of glass and soldered. I didn't back them with any paper so that you can see through the charm.

I'll be making more of these in the future. They combine several of my favorite things: bird images, transparencies, circles and soldering! I really need to work on my jewelry photography skills if I want to open an Etsy shop. It looks like our snow and ice aren't going anywhere soon, so maybe I'll have a chance to do that tomorrow.