Saturday, January 31, 2009

I'm Workin' On It

Monet Cowl

I am workin' on beads in my snuggly newly knitted cowl. It is so warm. *sigh*

I hope you are keeping warm on this fine Saturday. Have fun.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Best Intentions

Monet Colored Cowl

Last week when I said "maybe we'll have a bead box update next week", I really thought we would. Honestly, I had the best intentions. I have a new color combo that I am absolutely in love with and excited to share. I have new bead styles that I know you will love once you can get your hands on them. I am feeling fresh and inspired. Unfortunately, it just ain't gonna happen.

I am not gonna whine and complain and give you a million excuses as to why I didn't get to it. I will say, for as slow and mindless as winter can be, time sure is flying. One minute I think "what am I going to fill my time with this week?" And suddenly, the week is gone and I can't figure out where it went.

Wild Stripes Blanket - view 2

Ah well, such is life. I couldn't leave you photo-less though. What good is a blog without photos? First, I heard from a friend that my pictures were looking very strange on her computer screen. Sorry. I am trying to get that "big photo" look that so many blogs have and I guess it isn't working. Today I am trying something else. Lemme know if it is lookin' freaky, okay?

Since finishing my sweater the other day, I had to start another project to keep my hands busy as we are glued to LOST on Wednesday nights and 24 on Monday nights and Grey's Anatomy on Thursdays. (Wow, I watch too much TV.) The pic up top is a quick seed stitch cowl. Yesterday, my cousin Audrey and my Godson Ben came for a visit. Audrey brought me this deliciously colored yarn. It is reminding me of a Monet painting as I stitching it up. That yarn ball was the size of my head when I started!! LOL. The yarn is chunky and so warm. The second picture is a mystery project that I can't talk about just in case the person it is for reads the blog. But I had to share because those stripes are killin' me... I LOVE THEM!! Hmmm... I wonder if some stripe beads are coming your way?

Thursday, January 29, 2009


Alright, I like it better now. Still boxie, but not so bad. I decided to whip stitch up the front and wear it like a pull over. It has kept me snugglie warm all day. By the way... the things I do for you blog readers... it is really NOT fun trying to take a photo of your own midsection. Makes one feel rather frumpy, fat, and ugly. I won't be doing it again any time soon!!

Loss For Words

I got nothin'.


I have been at a total loss about what to blog about since yesterday morning. So now the lack of something to blog is the blog. Goodness. I had special plans for yesterday afternoon and the 12inches of snow that fell during the day had me rescheduling. The snow totally threw off my blogging plans. Now that post won't happen until the 9th.

So what did I do instead yesterday?

I knitted. Is knitted a word? I finished the sweater I started two weeks ago! I would share pictures, but I think I hate how it turned out. LOL. OH NO!! I tried it on and it was just so boxie and the cap sleeves were stiff and felt like giant 80s shoulder pads. I have it blocking now. It is so so so big. The measurement from the under arm to the hip went from 15in to 21in!! If it wears like it looks like it will from how it is blocking then there is still hope. I might deside I like it.

The cancelled plans was strike one yesterday and the sweaterw as mood strike two. Another thing is computer woes. Ron bought me a new laptop my Christmas. My old one is a hand me down we bought off a friend that has already died on more then one occassion. I have been working on transferring data and photos. Making a slow and easy transition. About three days ago I started working on the new laptop full time. Yesterday I was messing around tring to change something that was bugging me. Don't ask me what. And by evening, I messed things up enough that I had to do a system restore. Don't ya know, I deleted all that stuff I had spent so long transferring. Now all my pictures need to be moved, again. And favorites need to be resaved, again. Strike THREE... I am OUT!!

I try not to dewl on crap. I try to stay positive. My friend and her kids came by for an afternoon playdate. I case on new project that already has me inspired (photos coming soon) and I lost myself in watching LOST last night. All in all, I think the day turned itself around. I woke up this morning eager to do a few more rows on my project, excited for the torch time that is coming this afternoon, and I am getting to have a visit from my Godson, Ben too.

I guess I wasn't at a loss for words after all. *sigh*

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Busy Brain Syndrome

I suffer from "Busy Brain" syndrome. I don't know if it is a real condition, but I think it should be if it isn't. This condition comes on every few weeks (so no doubt it is a somewhat hormonal thing). No matter how tired I am, I just can't get to sleep. My brain seems to go a mile a minute. It just won't turn off. Suddenly it is 1:30am, I have written a blog post word-for-word in my head, counted backwards from 100 ten times, and worried about every thing under the sun. Eventually, it is morning and I have slept some, but ugh. I hate busy brain nights.

Last night, several things were racing around in my mind (aside from this Busy Brain Blog Post, HA!). The main thing was over thinking something special that is happening tomorrow that I am not telling you about until another day. The other thing were the beads in the kiln and the jewelry I planned to make with them. This necklace was particularly pesky piece.

I quite literally thought about each and every bend of the wire. I thought about how I would hold the pliers in my hand, how I would hammer the angles, and string the chain. I am thinking that is why my jewelry comes together so quickly sometimes. I have already made the piece in my mind's eye, so there is nothin' to it when I sit down to make it. I am really loving how this turned out!

It is a giant bead. It measures about 2in long x 1 1/2in wide x 1/4in thick. I love the ivory base and layers of dots in turquoise, ink and periwinkle. Doesn't it have a funky retro feel about it?

Monday, January 26, 2009

Out Of Wonderland

Lookie, lookie... there is something new on Kerry's blog... and it is jewelry related... YOO HOOO!! It has been a while, hasn't it? Too long. I was talking with Francie, over at JOOLZ, last week and she asked if I could pull together some new work for the shop. Surely!

There are a few designs I have had bumbling around my head for a few weeks now. I haven't had a chance to work on them though. I finally got to do just that over the weekend. I love the look of what I call "Vintage-Inspired" jewelry. Lynn and Lorelei jump to mind instantly as fabulous vintage-inspired designers.

Do you know what I am talking about? It is the look that has several components pulled together from odd places into one intriguing final piece. They are very asymmetrical, they use up miss matched shorts of chain, and they always, ALWAYS, have a fantastic focal front and center. I have had pendants on the brain for a few weeks now too. Ever since I bought a pendant from Jennifer Wood for my sister for Christmas. The pendant is HUGE and gorgeous. Could I make a BIG pendant?

Apparently, I can. I spent about 45 minutes on the focal in this new necklace. The base alone took more then a full rod of glass. That's a lot. I can make 4 nuggets from one rod of glass, so that tells you. I don't have a press large enough to make a cool shape in this over sized style. So, I spent a lot of that time at the torch hand-forming it into shape. I gotta say I am rather proud of the fact that I can sit and control molten glass and form it into a beautiful shape. *sigh* The color of the focal is off in these photos. It is made with transparent ink, which is a pretty purple/blue. My camera is on the fritz, yet again, giving me a hard time with graininess. Sorry. Hopefully, I'll be getting a new camera for my birthday in a few weeks.

Anywho... the other beads kinda made themselves after all the work on that focal. The seafoam colored rounds are pebble shaped to look like they might be a gemstone of some kind. But nope, they are glass! I have been playing a lot lately with size and shape, and that is where the long cone shaped bead comes from. I am feeling like BIG beads with a great shape are a good direction to go for me right now.

I had an idea on the name too. I can see a whole series of this style of jewelry. You know how I have my "Playground" series? Well, this is going to be my "Children's Book" series. This one is called "Out of Wonderland". Can you guess which book that is? Yep, Alice In Wonderland. I would love to hear about your favorite classic children's books!!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Drum Roll Please...

The winner of the Survey Giveaway is Kellie who said...

I think it's less confusing if the basics are at the beginning

Kellie Cales, Munster, IN

Congratulations Kellie!! Send me an email with your address so I can send you a bead. And thank you to everyone who took the time to answer my question. I will take all your comments under careful consideration. You'll have to wait for the book to see what I decide to do!!

What Is Love?

Don't worry, I don't really want an answer to that question. Every answer would be different anyway. But I want to show you the start of my answer to it.

Yesterday afternoon, I was torn. Should I make beads or work on my Token Journal? My free time that isn't free, it is actually "work time" has been very limited lately. Things keep getting in the way of me getting in my groove. Between long weekends, doctor appointments, and play dates... my time hasn't been my own. Usually, I am fine with it... I go with the flow and work when I can, but I really really want to be working right now! I have lots of ideas and I wanna make them happen before they slip outta my head.

As you can see from the photos, my journal and painting won out over torching.

The process of making these pages just felt so right. I sat in my studio, in the quiet, and let the paint flow. I still have colors crusted in my finger nails, and I freaking love that. I cut the covers off of some old circa 1907-1919 hardcover books (a technique shown in Taking Flight) to use as the pages in my journal. I mixed and layered paint for simple backdrops to write on.

On each page I added words from one of the books that I de-covered. The book is called "The Garden Without Walls" and the copyright is 1913. (I love how old it is!) I could open to any random page and some where on that page the word "love" would appear. I took that as a sign of the direction I should take my journal. Check out an article I found in the NY Times' archives reviewing the book.

Don't you just love the language in old books? My pages say; "What Is Love?", "turn your mind to the really important things in life", "A wonderful kindliness nowadays", "power of dreaming now broke loose.", "Love in the world.", "My secret was too big and beautiful to keep to myself.", "I shall always love you.", and "Star-Dust Days".

I have already started to find TOKENS in my days and I am going to keep my tokens of LOVE here in this journal. And I am guessing I will need more journals for other tokens. *sigh* I can't say that I'll mind having to work on that. lol.

Today though, the paints are put away and the glass rods are out. I am hoping to get in some quality torch time. If it is really good and we can manage a couple of good ones next week too, then I'll be having a Bead Box Update next Friday!! YOO HOOOOO!! I'll keep ya posted.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Building A Better Book

A quick survey for you on the this fine January morning!

I was talking with my editor last week about some design and layout things for the book. One of the things she asked is if I had a strong feeling either way about whether the "Basic Techniques" section should be in the front or that back of the book? Hmmm... I hadn't thought about it. I assumed it would be in the front, right?

I thought it would be fun to pose the question to you that will be reading it...

Do you like "Basic Techniques" in the front of books or in the back of books?

And hey, ya know what, we haven't had a giveaway around here in ages!! So leave a comment with your opinion of basics in the beginning or end and you'll be entered to win one of my toggle beads. If you leave comments as "anonymous" please remember to put for first name, last initial and city,state (or foreign country, yes you over seas peps are welcome to enter) so I keep y'all straight. I will take comment entries until Friday at noon.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

How Not To Spend Your Monday Off

LOL, I think these "How Not To" posts are going to become my signature thing. We had How Not To Ring In The New Year, and yesterday's Total Lack Of Research which could also be called How Not To Start A New Glass Art. Don't worry about me... I write these with the ability to laugh at myself and my ridiculous situations. I hope they make you laugh too, and hey, maybe you'll learn something too.

Yesterday being a national holiday, the kids had off school. I let Jacob have a few friends over and we ordered pizza. As I waited for the pizza delivery guy, I noticed something strange in the corner of the living room.

I know it looks fine from here... but take a closer look.


This corner is the spot where the new house meets the old house. It is a rather dicie spot that grows a lot of icicles outside. We knock the monster iciles down, but whatelse can we do? There is no access to the attic in over this spot. We can see if there is isulation unless we rip into the ceiling in the closet.

See, this is the closet on the other side of the wall.

While all FIVE kids that were here played outside in snow (according to the boys, it is the ice planet of Hoth out there, like on Star Wars), I moved all the furniture out of the corner and emptied the closet. Then in a panic called my husband, who couldn't do anything about it from work, and I called my cousin's husband Brad, who is a foreman for a construction company. Brad said he could come by after work and take a look.

I took the kids home, much to Jacob's disappointment. Apparently, he thought it no big deal that the paint was coming off the walls and water was dripping in to the living room soaking the carpets. According to him, I was spazing over nothing. I could hear the water drip drip driping inside the wall and down into my studio below and could see the paint coming off the walls... I was NOT spazing over nothing, child.

The leak is ice damning... damn ice. Brad and Ron used hammers and chisles to break it all away outside. If we roof rake everytime it snows, and get some of that heat tape to keep what tries to build up melting... then we should be okay. It'll be a few weeks before we can get the drywall repaired. It needs to dry out. Ugh. Oh well.

Today is going to be a better day. I am going to put my living room back together as much as I can. Lauren has a friend over to play and ride the bus with her. Once they head out, I am headed down to the studio... there needs to be some bead making done round these parts.

Monday, January 19, 2009

What's In The West Wing?

aka an example of my total lack of research...

Thursday, last week, I ended up spending about 3 solid hours in the studio. After two solid weeks of book project making, the place was a complete disaster. I mean, scary messy. There was no way I could introduce new equipment into the studio with all that crap all over the place.

So clean I did. What I also decided to do was open up a new "wing" in the studio. You can check out the studio before shots, HERE, and HERE. Remember, I put up the shower curtain wall to separate storage from studio. And you know, I really wasn't thinkin' in the summer when I did that because the vent from the heater is on the other side of that wall. So, lol... my side isn't heated, but the storage side is. (stupid... at least it is heated now.) I call this the "West Wing" because of Disney's Beauty and The Beast. Belle was forbidden to go in the West Wing where the Beast was keeping his enchanted rose safe. None of the kids are allowed in that area of Momma's studio because of the uber hot kiln that is now taking up residence there. You can see it sitting on the floor.

When I bought the kiln and accessories from Rio Grande to start fusing glass, I really didn't do much research into what I was buying or the right materials I would need. I figured I could figure it out as I went. Hey, that is what I do right? I fly by the seat of my artistic pants and make it up as I go. If there is one thing I have learned in my nearly 4 years of glass working, it is that you shouldn't wing it when it comes to glass.

Here is just a few of the mistakes I have made so far...

1)The New Kiln ~ blinded by it's ability to reach high temps, I didn't read the fine print closely enough. So the kiln I thought came with a digital temp control, in fact came with a glorified thermometer and a big dial. So, for my first fusing project, I spent the ENTIRE day sitting on a concrete floor and running up and down basement stairs adjusting the temp dial to get the kiln doing what it should. Oh, and to top it off, that thermometer read in Celsius not Fahrenheit, so all the notes I took from my new fusing book about the temp adjustments had to be converted.

(now I need to buy a digital controller for the new kiln, unless I intend to spend every fusing session sitting on the floor next to the kiln)

2)The Glass ~ blinded this time by my overwhelmed imagination filled with new design ideas, I placed an order for sheet glass for fusing in the same coefficient as my lampworking. I didn't pay much attention to the fact that the kit came with different glass, and all the books use different glass. I was trying to be "green" and work with the glass I had on hand, instead of adding a whole new line of glass into the studio. Turns out that 104coe glass isn't good for fusing because it is notoriously incompatible with it's self. There aren't very rigorous tests done on 104coe glass and while that it okay for making beads, it is NOT okay with fusing. It also has trouble with devitrification on the surface of the glass. Which turns pretty colors crappy.

(so now I have $200 of sheet glass in my studio I can't return and won't use... plus I have to buy the right glass for the job)

I would show you photos of the miserable results of my first fusing project, but alas, I forgot to recharge my camera batteries. I think that is for the best though. I wouldn't want to ruin you opinion of my ability to make pretty things with glass, LOL. Trust me when I say, the results of 10hours of kiln babysitting really shouldn't see the light of day.

Friday, January 16, 2009


You know how when you are reading blogs and one click leads to another click? You end up some place you never would have found otherwise. This happens to me a lot. I will be at one of my "usual" blogs and they'll link to another blog, I get caught up there and click links they have posted in their blogs... it just goes on and on. I LOVE when that happens. I love coming up on an unexpected corner in some one's life. It is kinda like when you drive around the city at night when lights are on in houses and buildings, often without curtains, and you get a glimpse into a moment in some one else's life.

Well, there are two blogs in particular that I have really been enjoying lately. The first is Ali Edwards blog. I don't know much about scrapbooking but oh how this site makes me want to experiment with it. Ali's projects and photos are intriguing to me. I love her graphic style, her loopy handwriting, and the nostalgic tone to images. I may never know how to use digital scrapbook pages... but I know a blog that keeps me inspired when I see it.

A few weeks ago, Ali started talking about her "One Little Word" project. If I am understanding it right, you pick a word that speaks to you and keep it in your mind through out the year. She says, "A single word can be a powerful thing. It can be the ripple in the pond that changes everything. It can be sharp and biting or rich and soft and slow."

I see projects come up on blogs all the time. I try them once in a while, like last year's "A Year Of Everyday Life" which I totally fell off the band wagon on. I know I am a bandwagon faller offer. I get excited about things, then loose interest, and end up letting it slip. I have always been like this. Which is one of the main reason's that Ron never wanted me to buy my own kiln and torch 4 years ago. He thought for sure that it would end up being a waste knowing me and my short attention span.

I am okay with that. I am okay with being a bandwagon faller offer. Instead of a faller offer, maybe I should consider myself a jumper. I know when my attention is starting to falter, and I start to look for other things to fill the need that whatever the project was filling. At least I can say that I tried and had an experience, right?

Anyway, I am getting off track. I saw Ali's One Little Word project and it has been with me for weeks since seeing it. There wasn't a single word that came to me as "my word". But as I was typing "words" for my book... or listening to "words" being spoken to me... or seeing "words" in the world around me, I would stop a second, think about it, and wonder if it was "my word". Nope... nothing was fitting.

I started this saying there were TWO blogs that I have come to love recently, and it is time to introduce the second. Months ago, when I was doing that photoshoot for that magazine article that I didn't end up liking, my friend Cindy sent me a link to a blog with another artist and her photoshoot results. The artist is mixed media painter Kelly Rae Roberts. At the time, I didn't bookmark her site for some reason, but through one link or another, I have ended up back there a few times. Now, I check it everyday and the other day, Wednesday to be exact, I finally picked up a copy of her book, Taking Flight. I wasn't sure I needed what I thought was a "painting" book. When I picked it up, and started to flip through the pages, I discovered it reads like a book book, not a project book. Though, yes there are projects in it... but the point is the journey, not the finished project.

I started reading Taking Flight last night.

I am about to go off on another tangent here... hang in there, it'll all come together by the end.

Something that I struggle with as an artist is the feeling that I lack a lot of depth/thought/feeling in my "work". So many artists have messages they try to convey in their work, deep thought behind the decisions they make for a piece, or feelings evoked in them/others through their mediums. Yes, I put thought in to my work. BUT... I feel like I don't put enough effort into the thoughts I have. Maybe that is just the perfectionist in me... nothing is ever enough for a perfectionist. And try as I might to let the need for perfection go, I just can't seem to do it. I can find fault in so much that I do. Who wants to go around feeling that way?

As I was reading the first chapter of Kelly Rae's book last night, the descriptions along side her work struck that cord of my feelings of shallowness. She would describe how she was creating with an intention and the descriptions were making me wonder what my intentions are with my work. Can beads and jewelry have intentions? A strong theme through the dialog in Taking Flight is listening to the whispers of your heart about the life you truly want to live. It can be a longing whisper to run a marathon... or a whisper of a desire to learn to paint.

One thing I am very good at is hearing my whispers. I know the things my heart is longing to do. One of things I am not good at it is giving those whispers a chance to be realized. I think that comes from my perfectionist tendencies. Often times, I think I have a fear that I will go for one of those big dreams and fail. If I fail, then I am not perfect. I know, I know... everyone is scared of failure. I have no reason to feel like I'll fail. I have shown myself is more ways then one that I am a strong woman and when I do put my heart into something I don't fail. And then, failing at something teaches you lessons that make the chance of success that much more the next time you try, right?

Anyway... reading Kelly Rae's book has really left me inspired. I want to give more of my whispering dreams a chance to take flight in my life. Something else happen while I was reading last night too... my One Little Word came to me... "Token".

Token (tō'kən)
1. Something serving as an indication, proof, or expression of something else; a sign.
2. Something that signifies or evidences authority, validity, or identity.
3. A distinguishing feature or characteristic.
4. A keepsake or souvenir.

v., -kened, -ken·ing, -kens.
1. To betoken or symbolize; portend.

1. Done as an indication or a pledge.
2. Perfunctory; minimal.
3. Merely symbolic.

I think it is a perfect word. It is "my word" and I am excited about spending time this year looking for tokens in my life. A token of love, a token of possibility, a token of forgiveness, or a token of sadness. It can be so many things. My personal hope it to find a token in each day and as suggested by Kelly Rae, I am going to start a journal. My journal won't be for my heart's whispers though... it is going to be to keep track of my tokens.

See how it all comes together?

To celebrate my word and get started on my journey, I am naming my first mixed media piece of 2009...

"Token Of Possibility No 1"

Thursday, January 15, 2009

For Outtings With Romeo

I have gotten a few emails with Congrats on meeting my first deadline and excitement over not being able to wait to see it when it comes out next year. All of the emails tell me to celebrate my hard work! And I have... but not in usual way. No champagne (though I have some in the fridge for the weekend), no dinner in a fancy restaurant (Ron made grilled Tilapia), and no cake or decedent dessert (a bowl of ice cream was in order).

So what did I do to celebrate last night? I cast on a sweater!

Yep, I am working on a sweater. LOL.

The yarn for it really was the treat. It is Dream In Color Softy in a color called Chinatown Apple. Kinda pricey for the 600 yards I need to make this Juliet sweater. But it is a celebration right? I will always have my sweater and each time I put it on, I'll remember that I made it that year I was working on writing my first book.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Just Chatting

Ring... ring...


Hey!! How are you? I haven't talked to you in forever. At least it feels like forever. What's up?

Me? Oh not much. I have had my head in a bubble for the past two weeks trying to meet my first deadline for the book. It's weird. Today feels like the first day I have been able to breathe in weeks. Seriously. First there was Andrew trouble... then in-law trouble... then all the holidays... then the kids vacation. The day they went back to school I had to dive right into the book.

Yeah, it is a huge relief. I didn't even realize I was feeling so weighted down. This morning I am just so light and excited. My new kiln came last week and I haven't even taken it out of the box! You know that is so not me... yeah, I would have had it cranking up in the first 10minutes if I could have.

So what are you up to today... sounds interesting. Are you gonna call the doctor?

Well, I need to get over to the UPS store and get all that jewelry on it's merry way. And I was thinking that while I am out, I will treat myself to a trip to Barnes & Noble. I want a book on kiln fusing glass. I have got a ton of ideas for fused pendants, fused components, and fused beads. I just wanna make sure I do it right. No, I am not gonna take a class, I'll just find a book with cool pictures. Oh, and I should pick up a copy of the book club book for this month. Did I tell you? I haven't been to book club since OCTOBER!! I know, crazy... I miss my book club girls. But with everything going on, I haven't been able to read in ages.

Hey, what is the temp where you are? OMG, it is like freaking -8degrees right now with the windchill. I am not even going to attempt to use the fireplace today. Cause Ron said when the wood burner is running the heat doesn't click on and other rooms in the house get cold, which is fine on most days, with this level of cold, we need to keep the temps up in all the rooms. I know, I guess it makes sense.

Anyway... I should probably get. It's almost 9am and Lauren is still sleeping, I need a shower, I got errands...

Yeah, call me tomorrow. Talk to you later. Yep, Bye.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

On Your Mark, Get Set...

... Send It!!

phew... I think I am done. For now. I ended up spending about 6 hours today sitting on the floor in front of the couch. I was making, cleaning, polishing, tumbling, labeling, bubble wrapping, and packaging jewelry for the book that whole time. Why was I on the floor in front of the couch, instead of sitting on the couch? For one, I made a huge mess... and for two, I didn't want wire bits in my cushions.

I have officially packed up 8 bracelets, 8 necklaces, and 2 pairs of earrings. I think that is about Check Spellinghalf. There are 25 projects total, so it looks like half, but I am not sure. Some projects are being done a few times. LOL... is my project list half done or half started?

I am babbling.

Forgive me, I am tired and need a nap. LOL.

Hmmm... I wonder if I will be more coherent tomorrow.

Anywho, I still have a little more to do. I need to reread my tutorials a few more times. Look for typos, then email it all to my editor. *sigh* Did I mention I am tired?

Friday, January 09, 2009

It Runs In The Family

Apparently sticking our tongues out is a family trait, lol. This is my Mom's English Bull Dog, Gerty, this morning. Gert is expecting puppies in a few weeks. How cute are those gonna be?

My Cat Killed My Mouse

LOL... so, I was down in the studio yesterday, (My studio is right under the living room, so I can hear everything happening in the living room while I am down there. ) and I hear my computer reboot. It is a laptop, so it was like someone opened the laptop.

I call upstairs... "hey, whatcha doing?"

Lauren's little voice calls back to me... "I'm seein' what time it is."

Yes, my 5 yr old fashionista is also a techie and knows that there is a clock in the corner of her Momma's laptop. What a smart little girl.

So I continue to coil away on the latest bracelet for the book when suddenly, I hear it again. My computer rebooting. And then again... and again. Weird! I head upstairs to find out what the heck is going on. What did I find?

R U S T Y.

Yeah, my keypad happens to be Rusty's favorite place to take one of his cat naps, to walk randomly when he has nothing better to do, to pounce on from across the room, and otherwise attack yet love.

I shoo him away, close the laptop, and bring it with me down to the studio. I needed to edit the tutorial I was working on anyway. (Yeah, I write it, then I make it according to what I wrote, and then make corrections as needed to make sure it is just right.) I plug it in on my desk, open it up, listen to it boot up for the 6th time is about 10minutes, and wait to open my document. The desktop comes up and I wiggle my finger on the touch pad to move the mouse...

nada... it didn't move... grrrr.

But hey, the laptop is a few years old. It has it's quirks. It does the no-moving-mouse-thing from time to time. A simple (proper) reboot and it comes back. I ctrl,alt,del my way to a reboot.... wait for the desktop to come back up again, and again... NOTHING!!

Why the heck won't my mouse work?

I tried again, and again, and again. Four reboots, still no mouse. I call Ron in a panic, and he wonders how I expect him to fix it while he is at work and I am at home. He suggested that I get the wireless mouse and try that. I shrug that off... I would have to find it first, and then find batteries. That would take at least 10minutes, and several trips up and down the stairs. So what do I do instead? I update my facebook status to reflect the dire situation and go take a shower.

Although I back up a copy of the book regularly, my laptop is the only computer (of the four we have in the house) that has MS Word on it. If I have no laptop... I can't open my document and work on my book!


It hadn't dawned on me... the funny irony of my situation until I did that update... yes, my cat killed my mouse. LOL.

Eventually, I got it working again. Turns out he turned off the touch pad with just the right combination of button clicking when he layed on the keys. Clever cat. I ended up putting him in time out in Andrew's room, lol. He is lucky he wasn't stuck outside in a snowbank.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Who Does She Think She Is?

This looks like a fantastic documentary. Who Does She Think She Is? If it were coming to Rochester, I would be going to see it. Is it playing near you?

Okay, time to retreat back into my bubble.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Oh The Glamor Of It

HA!! Glamorous... yeah, right!

Here are the details from yesterday...

Time: around 1:00pm
Temp: the kiln said it was 54degrees in the studio... thus the hat and Ron's flannel from the clean laundry basket in the other room. (clean laundry next to a dirty pile that I am pretending doesn't exist)
Beverages Consumed: at least two cups of coffee down, and this was my first cup of cocoa
Shower: Nope, lol... but I did brush my teeth
Work Completed: 16 out of 25 projects written... 2 and a half out of those made

Back to work!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Another Artist Spotlight

Can anyone guess who's beads these are?

When I got my book deal, I knew, knew, knew, knew that I HAD to ask Jill Symons to contribute. I was turned on to Jill's beads a few years ago through the blog of another artist that is contributing (and yet to be revealed). I have quietly stalked her beads over the years. I lust after her control of color. At times her beads are simple, focusing on the combination of colors and quality of form. Other times, she is demonstrates a master's power over silver glass. Her beads are nothing less then amazing. Don't even get me started on what she can do with copper and clear glass.

Working on the book, I first came up with an outline of the projects I would write instructions for. When it was time to pick beads, I matched artists with projects I thought would show off their beads best. I had a very ambitious project in mind for Jill, and I was thrilled that she was game to take on the challenge of creating more then 30, THIRTY, transparent beads in all different shapes and sizes.

Just wait till you see what I am going to teach you to make with Jill's beads. You are gonna love it. But, you are gonna have to wait. LOL. In the meantime, check out Jill's website (ton of eye candy there), see beautiful photos on her blog, and she has an Etsy Shop too.

(ps... I am experimenting with a new photo style for the blog here. Bare with me till I can get it right!)

Monday, January 05, 2009


Thank Goodness It's MONDAY!!!

YOO HOOOOO!!! The kids are back to school. A moment longer and I may have run away in the night. Just kidding. But it was a pretty rough two weeks. We had a stomach bug run through all three kids and Ron too. Along with that, we have had a pretty rough go with a transition in Andrew's meds. I told you before the holiday how we were weaning one and starting a new. Well, the new one brought out a very agitated, aggressive and mean side of Andrew's bi-polar that we haven't ever seen before. He would be happy as a lark one minute then screaming in your face the next. I know it is going to take time to figure out what is going to work for him, but in the meantime, things really just suck.

I worked hard all week trying to find the good in the day or the hour or the minute. It can be tough when you are walking around on egg shells trying not to set off another explosion. Some days I was able to do it better then others. LOL. I tried to plan things to do with the kids to keep them busy and distracted. That was hard to do too! The best day of vacation was definitely the last day. We had a very fun few hours at the local park (we are just about 5 miles from it). It has loads of hills for sledding and snowboarding.

Our friends, The L Family, that I mention all the time (lol), joined us for the fun. The hills can be very wind blown (thus the gras peaking through), the park is just a few hundred yards from the lake, but there was plenty of the white stuff packed and ready to run down. After the sledding, we ordered up Chinese food (the kids' favorite!) for dinner and watched How The Grinch Stole Christmas.

Then... I pulled out a copy of my book contract to double check my due date on the manuscript. I signed it a few months ago, but had the vague recollection that it is due the third week in January. I had the date January 19th drilled into my head... NOPE!! Things are due the 16th!! I know, you're thinking, "Kerry, it is just three days difference." Yeah, but those three days is a weekend, where I would have Ron around helping me get lots of work done. Basically, I have the next 8-9 days to get it done. Then it needs to be in the mail. If I am a little random in my posting between now and then, you'll have to forgive me.

Speaking of which... I hear that word document calling my name right now. Time to get back to work!!

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Hot Off The Press

I had a pleasent surprise in the mail the other day . I was flipping through the latest issue of Stringing Magazine and discovered that the beads I sent to them last winter for their "Beads To Buy" spot were used in a bracelet in the current issue.

The thing I like about Stringing is all different designs they share doing such a basic thing like stringing. Very Cool. There are loads of necklaces to inspire your own designs... with earrings and bracelets too.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Gifts Revealed

I know, I am late to blogging today. Sorry, I went into a psychotic cleaning mode and couldn't stop! I am talking floors washed, stairs vacuumed, baseboards washed, stuff's dusted, and yeah, I even tackled the basement. There were saw horses up (from the kitchen remodel), boxes every where, paint cans in odd places, and OH MY STARS... the floor! It so totally needed to have the shopvac run over it. I am just now sitting down and relaxing with a round of bowling on Wii with Ron, Jacob and Lauren. Calling me a multi-tasking Momma... I Wii bowl and blog... at the same time. I am good.

I was sorta at a loss for what to write about today. Then it hit me... I never showed you guys some of the secret Christmas goodies I made and gifted. The top one was a hat I made for my Mom. The yarn is Berreco Peruvia and the pattern is called "Robin's Egg Blue Hat". My Mom loves to gush to her friends at the YMCA in the water walking class she takes about what I do. Only problem is, she doesn't wear my jewelry. She doesn't wear any jewelry really. I thought this hat would be perfect with one of my beads. Now she has a bead to show off to her friends!

So, um, yeah, my sister's gift is only half done. But she understands. There are "Super Easy Leg Warmers" from the book Last Minute Knitted Gifts. The yarn is "Dream In Color", my absolute favorite. They have colorways that make my mouth water. I actually just ordered up some of their "fatty" sized yarn for a new sweater for myself. YUM! What I love about these is the length. They are supposed to be 26ins long, but I cast off around 22in. Still plenty long at that length! Just long enough to slip over your heel and keep some of your foot warm.

This is another sister gift. This time, a cowl. The Dolores Park Cowl to be exact, with some modifications. The yarn is Misti International Alpaca and is some of the softest yarn I have ever had the pleasure of working with. And again... yum yum yummy colors. It was a super fast knit and that worked because I couldn't give her two unfinished gifts. HA!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

New Year, New Design

LOL... I am feeling rather pathetic this morning. Is it really 2009? I, um, slept through it. I ended up going to bed in a huff of exhaustion around 9pm. Oh well, if you have seen one ball drop, you've seen them all.

I did want to do something special to mark the special occasion though. So, I have been holding off on sharing this new bangle design... I have been saving it for today. It is a new favorite! I love love love the texture and movement in this bracelet. And now, if you had any questions about what you could do with those long tube shaped beads, this is a cool suggestion. Don't cha think? I made this for the Gallery Store, and I don't know if it is still available or not. Sorry. But never fear... there will be more. :) I am working on it.

Okay, so... looking ahead. This as good a time as any to look ahead to the new year, right? I already told you of some of my plans (no art shows). But a few of the other things I have been thinking I need to improve on is...

1) Be more on top of my "business" business. I am really bad about putting numbers into my spread sheets and now that we are going to have our taxes done by a professional, I really really need to be better about things.

2) Make more ART. I love exploring the possibilities of mixed media. (Like the new piece I previewed yesterday.) I want to explore more! I want to explore enough that I can put together a calendar for 2010 of my mixed media pieces. Lots of artists offer really cool calendars of their work. And I wanna too!!

3) Compute less, Create more. If I were to set a stop watch next to my computer and click it on every time I am online... I think I would find that I am on way more then I think I am. The internet is a HUGE part of my business/art life, but there needs to be more time with the computer put away and the creating of things being in the fore front.

4) Learn new stuff. I have already started on this!! As my last purchase of 2008, I bought a "fusing kit" from Rio Grande. It comes with a new kiln (mine doesn't reach temps high enough to fuse glass), kiln shelves, kiln wash, new glasses, heat gloves, a book... and GLASS!! I have had design ideas running like crazy around my head for fused pendants, and components. BUT, to make them the way I want, I really need to learn to bezel set. Anyone local know how to do it and want to teach me? I'll trade ya cool beads for my education :)

5) Get outta the house more. I can be such a hermit. I need to branch out. When I am working on writing, I need to get off my bum and get out in the world. So many places have WIFI. Why sit at home in pajamas not taking care of myself? When I could go sit at Panera with a cup of hot cocoa and a bagel and type in the crowds. This doesn't just apply to writing time either. Now that I am not doing shows, I won't get to talk to people. I like talking to people. So maybe we should start a beading group that gets together a couple of afternoons a month. I don't know. I'll think of something.

I think those are some good ideas to start with. OH, and they are NOT resolutions! I don't make resolutions. Hey, lets call them goals instead. These are my goals in the new year.

You got any goals?