Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Down To The Wire.......

With 3 shopping days to go, my youngest can hardly stand it! Me.....well I'm ready for the New Year! Other than the financial stress 2009 wasn't bad, but I figure 2010 will be better! A huge Thanks goes out to all of the "Angels" who helped us get through the last couple months of the year, Christmas included!

I still need to go out into the crowds and finish up a couple things but I think the "going out" part is mostly done and I just need to concentrate on the "cleaning" part.

Hope you're all ready!

Monday, December 14, 2009

A Snag

Beginner Cake Experiments

I was running along great with my listing and suddenly a snag hit. Not a horrible one. One that just took up a bit more time than expected and when I wasn't dealing with that there are numerous other things to deal with. That snag ended up being Christmas, and while Christmas is only for one day it seems that it can take up at least a month of your time, if not more.

We are positive about this Holiday. The kids are really looking forward to it and although times are lean, they will still be wonderful times. I'm working on a few sewing projects as gifts for the boys along with some other things. We have allotted them each a small sum of money to spend on each person in the house and although it isn't much, they are relishing how they are going to spend each dime on each person. It is a very cool thing to watch in your kids as they peruse the Sunday ads to see what will fit into their allowance.

My cake decorating classes are going well and I have just started the second series on Royal Icing. I did end up having to borrow a Kitchen Aid mixer cause my hand beaters will not cut it for the "job" of mixing the icing. Please note that the cakes above were for experimentation purposes only and not for anything serious other than eating!

Jimmy is still looking for work but tomorrow he's attending an informational class on re-training since his "job category" is on the decline. It will get him out of the house for a bit and give us both a little break from each other, which is a good thing : )

Tonight I'm off to Target with one of the boys to see what we can drum up for his shopping list.

Enjoy the rest of your Monday!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

One Day At A Time.....

A bowl full of listing "stuff"

Jimmy is out chopping wood as I sit and continue to add to my Destash Etsy. As I look around the house and go through drawers I see probably hundreds of "creative" items that I've accumulated over the course of the last 20 years. I'm not kidding! Jewelry making magazines galore! Bead & Button, Jewelry Crafts, Lapidary Journal, Beadwork..........OMG! Not to mention, knitting needles, crochet hooks, fleece (fiber), yarn, beads, cabochons, neck ties (yes, you can create with these), scarves (and these too), books on just about every subject from doll making to jewelry making (various ways), painting, drawing, fabric, patterns, etc., etc., etc...........sorting through all of this and deciding what to get rid of is actually proving to be pretty easy. The hard part is what "I want" to keep.

Lots of patterns, magazines, books, neckties, scarves, fabric, some knitting needles and crochet hooks. You can only use so many needles/hooks at once and having more than 2 sets of each size.....well, that only promotes starting more than one project and I HAVE to STOP doing that so a bunch of those will start appearing in the next couple of weeks.

Definite keepers are the polymer clay, silver clay and my sculpting tools, along with quite a few beads and precious stones that have collected. Some kitting needles and crochet hooks (see above) cause those are long time things I've done that I'll never completely let go. All of my wire working and metal fabricating supplies STAY!

The hardest thing to let go of is my glass. Mostly rods since my generator won't be working anytime soon, and we need the money so badly. My kiln stays since I can still use that in other areas. My enamels are staying cause I know I want to try those in other areas.

There is still lots that I need to sort through and as hard as it is, it's also very freeing!!! The clutter of years of "all over the place" creativity are now starting to wind down. I don't feel like I need to try everything out there but I still want to keep my mind fresh and flowing with new ideas by trying new media now and then.

I will also start listing more creative things in my Emerald Dolphin Etsy too. It could use more exposure and instead of limiting it to one kind of media, I'm just going to start listing most everything (not all) that I make.

I'm still looking for work but it's been a LONG time since I've been out in the job market. My next cake decorating class is Thursday night. I can hardly wait! I baked two cakes yesterday but they both cracked on the top, so I'll need to trim them down to make em flat for frosting. Practice make perfect, right? Even when it comes to baking a cake. The boys don't care, of course, as long as they get to eat the end result at some point. I'll take pictures, as my decorating skills improve : )

So for now it's back to work, listing, Yeah ; )

I leave you with a couple of pics of crocheted necklaces that I need to add clasps too.

Have a great day!

Friday, November 06, 2009

It Just Keeps Going....

We're going to pull out of this soon! October pretty much went to Hell in a handbasket. From the kids and I being sick to teetering on the edge of financial disaster. Jimmy went back to work for a short time but is now laid off again. We are checking out refinance options but it's not looking good with with him being unemployed and me, not having been "gainfully" employed for awhile. To top it off my ex is now 2 and a half months in arrears on child support. It's not all that much, really, but every little bit counts right now. The ex is being "stalked" by DCS (Division of Child Support) so that is a good thing. Eventually he will have to "pay". He hasn't seen the boys is over 2 years so that is not as issue (I prefer it that way) and since my daughter turned 18 she has refused to have anything to do with him (or his family). I don't usually air things like this on my blog but the financial stuff has affected everything lately.

I'm looking for work again, only this time I'm looking into cake decorating. Does that sound strange? I'm actually taking a class (Thank you, credit card) so I can have some experience. The job market is tough right now, so I figure anything that gives me a bit of an advantage can help, plus it looks like a lot of fun. I've had one class so far and even though we didn't get to do any "hands on" stuff, I loved it! Next Thursday we have to bring a frosted cake to practice on and I'm very tempted to start before then, just for the fun of it!

In the meantime I'm going through closets, cupboards and drawers listing things on my "destash Etsy" . Lots of patterns, back issue beading magazines, jewelry and other crafting supplies, with some vintage clothing thrown into the mix. I don't have everything up yet but I'm making a little progress every day. My glass is out of the picture for the time being. I haven't been able to get my generator fixed, and at this point the $$$ is not going to appear for this with bills waiting in the wings.

Things will start getting better eventually. It's just a matter of time. Honestly, I really don't have a whole lot to complain about. The kids are healthy, and doing well in school, we have a roof over our head and food on the table. I figure someone else is always in a worse way so "It's all good!".

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Slow Start To October....

That's what we got. We are now on the downside of the flu in this house. YEAH!!! Both boys went back to school today and things are settling back into an Octoberish feel. Our October fest activity for the day was watching Halloween Town (III). This was after a crap load of homework got caught up. We will get down to some crafting tomorrow after the homework gets done. I'm thinking glue ghosts. Perfect for after school!

For me settling back into a routine meant finishing up some filing (a least favorite activity), photographing (jewelry) and playing catch-up with laundry and dishes. Sound fun?? I don't think so. I'm hoping to get back to some creative things by the end of the week. Tomorrow will be for listing and probably more photographs.....oh, and laundry too.

Water & Wine

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Things Should Be....

Returning to a somewhat normal state within the next couple of days. The illness that blew through our house, threw everyone for a loop! I'm still looking for the week I lost...oh yeah, it's underneath, cold syrup, cough drops and flu medicine.

On the October side of things we brought out the Halloween box. Yeah! Tomorrow we will begin some crafting and decorating. The only October Party thing we were up to all weekend, was on television, as in Harry Potter, Martha Stewart (Bad Things, Good Things) and any shows on Haunting.

We also helped my daughter move out today. That made me very sad but it was something that had to be done. She will be sharing an apartment down in Seattle with a room-mate. I hope all goes well, it will be her first time on her own. I just have to remember that she is only a phone call away!

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Welcome To The October Blog Party!!!

Honestly, we are off to a shaky start since more than half the people in our house are sick. What's up with that? I "never" get sick! I guess saying never doesn't work anymore...Ok, so I seldom get sick and the same goes for my kids too. Whatever this is, I just figure it must be akin to a new energy starting to flow that we weren't expecting. Yeah, that's it!

No matter, I'm getting this off to a Halloweeny start! Since no one was really up to doing much of anything we found a couple of old "Tales From the Darkside" to watch and since I DVR "Ghost Hunters" that was a must! On a crafty note one of my favorites for Halloween fun is Martha Stewart. Here's a link to her craft a day, at MarthaStewart.com. She has some great Halloween crafts which I will be posting pictures of when we make them. Connor is psyched!

Also head over to DomesticWitch.com for links to lots of other blogs taking part in this scary event.

On another note October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. To celebrate I am donating 3 Artisan jewelry items, being Auctioned at JustBeads.com 100% of all proceeds will donated to the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Click on the link above to be taken directly to my auctions. Please note that these auctions will be running through the month of October, ending on the 31st. I'd also like to mention that my friend Lynda of GoldandGlass Beads is also auctioning 3 lampwork items for the cause, check out her auctions by clicking on the link above.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Sooo, It's Time To Catch Up.....

The week at the beach was a blast. Not long enough though.

We also did a Pirate Party for my sister's 50th.

My sister Kim (birthday girl) is in the middle, with my brother Keith (My biker bro) on the left and Ken (Computer guy) on the right.

And my boys far right (Dakota), yellow shirt (Duncan, the anti pirate) and far left (Connor). That's my nephew Bleu, top left.
And Dakota's one, really cool, had to have, purchase for school (I LOVE IT!!!).

The kids are well into school now with 2-1/2 weeks under their belt and all are doing great!

Things haven't gone quite the way I'd hoped after school got in. My Oxygen Generator ran for 2 hours and then quit, on the first day of school, no less. So the problem I sent it in for hasn't been fixed. Right now I'm waiting on parts for Jimmy to install. They should be here next week, but of course, he will be out of town all week and I'm not apt to touch it, since he's the one who is totally mechanically inclined.

The creative time I thought I would have after the boys got into school has been more or less devoted to house work. This month has been a time of adjustment for everyone. With October just around the corner I'm hoping to (again) get more creative time. We'll see how that goes, but I'm very hopeful!!!

Jimmy is back to work temporarily. This is a good thing, but requires him to be out of town for at least the first week. After we got back from the Ocean things got a little tense, but that got me back into sewing (since it put me on the opposite end of the house, from him). Now it's all good, and I completed a Dog bed, Cat bed and a curtain for the boys room, along with working on a design for a Halloween purse.

On that Note I will be participating in the October Blog Party ......for all of you Domestic Witches out there. This look's like a lot of fun and I can relate to her on a lot of levels. In fact I went out and bought some black felt (totally recycled) today for making a purse that I have in mind for the Season. I don't know if I will be able to keep up with the daily blog but I will do my best!!!

In the meantime.......the week that Jimmy is gone I'm going to try and get as much time in as I can, including the evenings. My sewing area occupies about 1/3 of our bedroom and since it's hard to sleep while he's gone, I'm going to see about using that time productively.

The 1st of October is Thursday, we'll see how I do with a daily blog until then.

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday!!!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

It's Back!!!

My oxygen generator is back where it belongs!!! Yeeah! That's the good news. I won't be able to put it to use until we get back from the ocean. That's the bad news.

Summer is coming to a close soon and you can feel it in the air. Just a bit of a nip. Band camp is this week and registration for the high school will be the week after we get back. All the boys are feeling a bit nervous about going back but they are always glad after that initial first day is over. So am I, for that matter.

I'm taking some clay (and yarn) with me to the ocean. We'll see how far I get with creating. We spend A LOT of time at the beach, the river, the pool and the play ground (depending on the weather) and I try to get a bit of reading in too, while I'm there. I read a lot at home but it's more of a self educational purpose, except for the books I hide in the bathroom. Those are the ones I read at the beach.......Nora Roberts, Dean Koontz and a few others.

Also on the home front we are working on a serious diet change. Less red meat and meat in general and more veggies, fruit, whole grains and fish. I have been trying to stay along this track for awhile and can easily cross the line into complete vegan but the boys (all of them) are another story. However Jimmy hasn't been feeling all that great these days and has decided it's time to change his diet a bit. I have been gently suggesting this for years but, of course, he has to see some show on Discovery or the Science channel to finally convince him that it might be a good idea...Oy! Anyway a week at the beach is a good time to start and since Dakota has also been thinking about nutrition (he wants to run track this year) he said that if I change "all" the food in the house, that they really won't have a choice one way or the other. Damn smart thinking for a 14 year old! So here we go and we'll see how much resistance I meet after a week or so : -D

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

The $5 Bouquet & A Spinning Wheel

The local Farmer's Market has a wonderful assortment of bouquets for $5 and up from several farms. As you can see they are well worth the $5. The hardest part is picking one.

After a couple of adjustments the spinning wheel is done. Yeah! Now I just have to learn how to use it. The yarn that's on it now is actually a regular store bought skein that I'm using to get the feel of things. Then I can actually move onto fleece.

My Oxygen generator should be back sometime next week. Double YEAH! I wasn't missing it too much last week when we were in the triple digit temperatures but now we've dipped back down into below normal temps hovering in the upper 60's and low 70's. I'm NOT complaining! I can hardly wait to get back to melting some glass!

My desk is almost done and looks MUCH better than it has in a couple of years. The trick is to keep it somewhat mess free. We'll see how that goes since I'm changing/improving my organizational skills. I've also moved my metal working tools down to the shop to free up space for "other" activities.

On a last note......this is a picture of a cool green moth hanging outside our front door today. Pretty cool, huh.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Re-Arranging My Desk

It's hindering everything else I need to do so it was finally time to bite the bullet and get it done. I know I've posted a couple of times over the last year that I was cleaning my desk. This time I have a specific "idea" in mind. I want to make it more productive space for when the boys are back in school and I need to get things done more effectively. Do you think I can do it? At the same time I'm trying to get my brain in order to function more effectively too. That's harder than the desk, aack!!! So I'm organizing my desk while I try to "train my brain".

On a totally different note.......Jimmy is building me a spinning wheel. I posted about it in my CrochetChar blog but decided I need to make note of it here too. It's too cool and almost finished! Do I know how to use a spinning wheel......no.......but I'm going to be learning.

This is a bit of the progress from the book to the almost finished product......I can hardly wait!!

This is a basic "mock up" of the instructions from the book. Learning the process and taking what he can from the directions. Keep in mind that Jimmy is a skilled wood worker. I was going to work with him on it the first time around but we decided that it would be best if he worked through it once on his own, since he had to figure out the dynamics of it first. I need to get another picture of it now that he's to the point of making bobbins, unfortunately he injured himself yesterday working on it. I wasn't in the shop at the time but something about "bouncing" a piece of wood off his hip and that he can barely walk this morning makes me want to post "Be Careful!" signs around the shop. Now I will have to wait a little longer to try it out....Darn!!!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Triple Digit Weather???

Maybe? That's what is predicted for today so I'm gonna make this quick since my computer's fan is working triple time and I don't know that it will be able to keep it up much longer. Since we don't have air-conditioning I'll just have to give it a break.

My naughty kitty will keep you company until I get back.


Sunday, July 26, 2009

Heat Advisory....

So we may hit the 100's by Wednesday! Wooo hooo! Actually the bummer is that the heat saps your motivation/energy. Although I sat out the afternoon finishing up watching Torchwood: Children Of Earth. All I have to say about it, was that it was a mind blowing mini-series. Catch it on BBC America.

I'm finally dragging out my polymer after a few down days of car troubles and heat. I know I've been promising "things" for awhile but I'm finally working up to them and the ideas are starting to click in my little brain. In the meantime........

A $5 bouquet from the local farmers market.
Some candy cane and golden beets cooked up with some potatoes. The cool beets are from the market too.

A visitor that hung out on our deck for a day and hasn't been seen since. It was really cute and seemed to make itself at home. The boys were bummed, and so was I that he/she never came back.

And what boys do with my camera when they have far toooo much time on their hands. Speaking of hands...look closely......those are fingers.......NOT a hairy but!!!

Enjoy what's left of your Sunday!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Summer Is Off To A Great Start!

Aside from a bumpy beginning, Summer is truly off to a great start! The family re-union camp out was a blast! Here are the boys hangin with our pup.

The day before he was deathly afraid of crawdads, but he awoke the next morning ready too, not just touch one, but pick it up! Very cool!

There was a ton of wildlife. Unfortunately I didn't get a picture of the rattlesnake Jimmy and I spooked. If rolled into the river and then slowly made it's way back out again. The picture above was on a morning walk we took and happened to catch some vultures sunning themselves.

We have been back for about a week and diligently working on the yard and house. All the broken down cars are gone (yeah!), and we've made several trips to the dump. This is in preparation for a new house next year.

This morning I noticed a new little friend hanging around the deck. I'll get pictures and post them tomorrow. I left some food out and am hoping he/she will get a little braver. The dog is chained up out there but it doesn't seem to bother this little guy.

My oxygen generator shipped out yesterday for repairs. Don't know how long it will take but lately it has been too hot to even consider sitting in front of a torch.

I didn't get a chance to work on anything creative while we were camping and it's taking a bit to get back into he groove since getting back, however I am working on a new clay "idea". Should have some results at the end of next week.

Time to get on with the day!

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Not Melting Glass

Looks like it's going to be shipped back for a once over. I was hoping to be back up and running with a new set of filters but it turns out that it's not the problem. Dang!

The last couple of weeks are ones I would prefer to forget. Too many surprises and none of them good. Yesterday was a nice break from everything up at Camano Island for a wonderful 4th of July celebration. Good people, good times!!

We are now preparing for a family reunion, next weekend, in Oregon. I'm really looking forward to it but also looking forward to settling back down for the rest of Summer and to get a jump start on my art. I don't expect that I'll see my generator before the end of July but hopefully sooner.

My clay has been sitting on one of my work tables "waiting" for me to create with it. I am way past due and have been doing more yarn yoga than anything else right now. I think it's helping to keep me centered. It's also my only "portable" art. To read more about my yarn yoga click on this link crochetchar.

I'll try to touch base again before we head out.

Have a great week!

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Ax Finally Fell......

Jimmy was laid off yesterday. We are looking at it in a positive light as a new opportunity for him to find that "perfect" job! He had actually started looking about a week ago for something new. I know that better things are to come from this, so watch and see : )

I talked to the company that I bought my oxy generator from and they want me to ship it back but Jimmy and I took a good look at it and I'm going to call them back today and see about replacing all filters. I have a feeling that with both the cat and dog hanging around my filters are hopelessly clogged, and it has filters on it that you just can't take out and wash.

The kids are settling into being out of school nicely, and spend most of their days outside playing with the their friends in the neighborhood, although the weather has kind of gone kind downhill, but it's supposed to get sunny again soon.

I do have a few more glass items left to list. I think I'm going to spread them over Etsy, JustBeads and ArtFire (my latest venue) and get some polymer clay things made while I wait for my generator to get going again. Keep a watch over the next week for things to start appearing!

TGIF!!! Enjoy your day!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


My oxygen generator is on the fritz. I've contacted the company to see what I need to do the get it running again. It took me 30 minutes to find the receipt but it looks like it's still covered under the 5yr warranty. Well see........

In the meantime here is some of my most recent lampwork. I think it's going to be awhile before I get to do anymore.
Funny I didn't intentionally pick all blue, hmmm. Actually I seem to be in the mood for lavender and pink. Probably cause I want something soothing.

As for the oxygen generator.......well my subconscious has been working hard to get me back to claying so it looks this is the push to take it up again for awhile. Does my jumping from one thing to another make you crazy?? It does me! There are days when I wish I could just focus on ONE! The worst part is that I LoVe all of the things that I do, I just don't seem to be able to pick a favorite. I've oftened wondered if I need medication........seriously.........but I've decided to take a pass on it. Almost one whole side of my gene pool in on anti-depressants and I find the thought of taking something like that, a LOT scarry!! I don't know why but I do. I know some people need to take that stuff but, (at this point anyway) I'm not one of them.......men, kids, peri-menopause, whatever the stress.......nothing a good bottle of Pinot Noir (or Merlot in a pinch) and some dark chocolate cant cure, Right!! Besides all of those things that I love lampwork, clay, fiber, wire......whatever, are all stress re-leavers too, except when I'm stressing over which one I want to do..........Oh well.......I'm a work in progress myself!

Time to go play (with clay)!!!

Monday, June 15, 2009

4 Days.......

Until the boys are out of school for the Summer. This time of year is hectic to say the least. Being without a car doesn't help. The stress level of our house has been at an all time high with my daughter (having been laid off from Starbucks, awhile back) diligently job hunting and Jimmy working on and off (he's still employed, but looking for something new).

I got back to the torch a couple of days last week and am watching my oxygen generator closely to see how she is doing. So far, so good! It seems to do better when I use it more.

On that note, JustBeads is back up and running, YEAH! I have missed listing with them since December when their site had a major crash. They never gave up and worked hard to get it back up and running. I have a few auctions up, all starting at .99, in celebration of them being back. Click on the link and it will take you to my auctions.
This is me lampworking. My daughter took the picture (Nice work Brandy!). We're not able to get a good front view one because there is a window/wall in front of my work bench.

This is the mess on my desk before I started listing things. Note the mouse pad. A gift from my Mom for my last birthday. It says "You say I'm a Bitch Like It's a Bad Thing". It also came with a matching mug and dishtowel. A little insight into another side of my personality?? Probably worse since Peri-menopause hit.

So I'm back at it! Hopefully you'll see a bit more of me hangin around here. In the meantime you can check out my other Blog for my fiber adventures, CrochetChar (click here).

Happy Monday!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Flu......

The flu worked it's way through our house. Everyone but me (knock on wood) got sick. Is seemed to be a quick one. Not lasting more than a couple of days. Jim seems to think that I may not be human being the only one in the house to not get it. With his imagination, he referred to me as Data from one of the old Star Trek series.

Speaking of Star Trek, we went and saw the new movie. I have to say that it was excellent!! But to get the whole effect of it you REALLY need to be familiar with the original Star Trek series with Kirk, Spock and the rest, otherwise you will miss a lot of the humor. A few times Jim and I found we were the only ones laughing, or should I say "getting it". Since it's kind of a prequel to that series.

Instead of creating right now I've been taking care of sick kids and working in the garden. Plus I got a Wii Fit for Mother's Day and that occupies as least an hour of each day for the workouts that I have been long past due in needing. I'm now on my 10th day but am moving them earlier in the day so that I can get them out of the way and get on with my day. I've already lost a couple of pounds but hope to drop many more before the Summer is over.

I'm finishing up a couple of things today and should have some pictures up tomorrow. Hope all is well and it's not raining where you are, like it is here.

Saturday, May 16, 2009


The week flew by! Only two posts......so I have to tell you about my Mother's Day. It was great! The boys all fixed me breakfast in bed and then I got to play my new Wii Fit! Talk about fun! That's the one thing I did manage to squeeze in all week. A 1 hour work out every day, so far. I don't know if I'll be able to do one today since we have a couple extra kids over this weekend but I'm going to try........and just so you know, this is something I've been wanting since Christmas! Yes, it's to get in shape and drop some weight! So far so good! I'll keep you posted on if it keeps me interested but so far anything that lasts more that a couple of days is, excellent!!

Two of my 3 boys were sick for a couple of days. Funny that is ended up being the oldest and youngest. I was pround of Duncan for getting up and going to school without a single complaint, but he said it's because he's got a great teacher. Two Thumbs up to Mr. Movius for keeping my son motivated!!!

I'm working on another stamp. This time I'm using the rubber that they sell. Feels like an eraser but it cuts like butter with the cool carving tools they have for it. I can see another hobby coming on. Dang!!!

Can you guess what the flowers are? No they are not stamps of any kind......

I also want to link you to another blog I just started watching called, Two Frog Home. I've joined they're "Doing, Not Thinking" Challenge. Yes, I do think I spend far too much time thinking about things instead of acting, so now's the time!!! Here are my goals:

1. to be working full time as an artist by September (when my youngest starts 1st grade). 2. to finish de-cluttering my house by the end of Summer. 3. to start completing at least one small project 5 days a week, by the end of June.

What do you think?? Click on the link if your interested. Her blog is geared towards natural living. Things like canning, composting and the like. Check it out!

The weekend is going to be beautiful so I'll be heading outside to get some gardening in. Maybe I'll pick some dandelions greens and give them a try. Lord knows, I've got plenty handing around the yard!

Later Gator!!

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Weekend's Here!!!

I've been missing in action the last few days. Between sick kids and school functions, things have been a little hectic. Tomorrow I'll have a little more time but for tonight I'm going to catch some ZZZZZZZ's.

Good Night!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!!!

A pretty pink peony for all of the wonderful Mom's out there, but especially for MINE!!! And to my Auntie Dana too!!! My other "Mom". Enjoy your art walk on Camano today! Love you both!!!

Friday, May 08, 2009

I'm Planning On Some Flowers.....

and maybe herbs for my front walkway. Sorry no pictures today. Jimmy came home early and the boys always have an early release on Fridays so the rest of that day just ends up being........well, busy! (more on the front walk later).

I'm starting another blog for my crochet and fiber venues. www.crochetchar.blogspot.com......I only have one post and, of course it's on knitting. I must apologize to all the crochet fans out there but I was seduced by Cable knitting. It just happens to be something that I wanted to learn that happen to coincide with the start of my blog. I figured that since it involved fiber and a couple of sticks.....well.....what the hell!!!! No worries!

Anyway today ended up being one of those get out and multitask days where I should have gotten everything I wanted to get done (grocery shopping, etc) done. Only to come home and find that I (of course) forgot a couple of things. I'm hoping to get through the weekend without having to leave the house again, but it's looking bleak........

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

I Feel Another Stamp Coming On......

I like this stamp so much that I think I'm going to do a couple more. These are great for doodles and for passing time when I'm waiting for the computer or internet to do what it's supposed to. You can see that I have some rubber to carve on and a few tools which I bought awhile back. The first stamp I made was on a lino block. I think I'll enjoy carving the rubber more. We'll see!

This is my shoulder cat. He jumps up when I my attention isn't focused on him and rubs his face against the side of mine. He'll stay up there until the mouse pointer on the screen catches his attention and then I have to put him down to keep him off my desk.
It's another cold and rainy day. Supposedly the sun will be back for the weekend. I can only hope!!

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

A Note Of Caution & My First Stamp

So you know I have a little wine experiment going on.......well one of the bottles broke under the pressure. Jimmy told me that I never should have tightened the lids but it says to in the directions.......this is the result. There were a couple of big cracks down the side of the jar and that piece was laying a few inches away. Of course the cupboard has a slight yeast scent to it now. All the other bottles are intact and at this point I'm just going to leave everything as is and see what happens. Hopefully I won't have anymore blow outs :o

My first stamp is complete and I'm really happy with the results. Now I just need a decent ink pad. Looking back I probably should have done something a little simpler but I learned a lot, so the next one will go much quicker. I'll get another picture of her after my next trip to the local Ben Franklin. They have an excellent selection of pads.

I'm still working to get my oxy generator up and running. I hope to give it another go sometime towards the end of the week. We'll see how it goes.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Blooming Tea & Dandelion Wine

Blooming Tea doesn't look all that good or pretty to begin with.....
It's actually prettier than this picture looks and very yummy too!!!
Dandelions picked for the wine experiment. Ready to be rinsed!
Cooking them down.....
Bottled up and ready to ferment!

Honestly, I don't really have high hopes but who knows. You can see that it's not clear so I don't know if that's good or bad. My kitchen smelled like yeast all day yesterday and I finally had to light incense to get rid of the smell. It did fizz when I stirred it up before the final jarring so I take that as a good sign, but we'll see what happens in a month or two.

I did some lampworking Friday but only got through about a half dozen items before my oxygen generator just stopped working : ( I'm looking it over, cleaning filters and the like to see if I can get it up and running again. If not I'll have to track down a company that services them and see what they can do. I don't really want to ship it back to the one I got it from but if I have to I will. I'm sure it just needs a general "servicing" to get it back to good.

Last night it stormed like crazy, wind, rain, the whole nine yards. Today is turning into a beautiful day. The kids are really gearing up for Summer. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that they don't end up closing the schools for a week due to swine flu. I don't know if that kind of thing extends the school year or, not but to be honest I think the whole thing is being over blown. The press is doing a wonderful job of spreading the paranoia.......get on with your lives people, it's just another flu!

Anyway, I'm still working with fiber but am going to drag my clay back out to and work on some.............well I'll let that be a surprise. "I think" the idea is a cool one but I have to see if it works first (kind of like wine), I should have something to show you next week.

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Moving Things Along

Some shapes for freeform crochet
A box of patterns I still need to get listed

A crocheted bag that I need to finish lining and add handles to. Did you notice the earthy colors? I'm ready for some bright summery ones now!

I'm sorting through all my stash for things to go up on my Destash Etsy. I have quite a few books, patterns, magazines, and not to mention they creative "stuff" that has been stashed away for years that I'm finally realizing I'll never use so I might as well see if anyone out there wants it.

I have been crocheting like a mad woman over the last couple of months. Lots of flowers and circle like thingy's to make into free form clothing, like vests and jackets. I was desperately looking for a book on making bullions and spent a good hour just surfing the web thinking that I would be able to track down a copy of Bullions & Beyond by Prudence Mapstone only to find that the book was out of print and almost impossible to get my hands on. As a last resort I decided to do a search on Ravelry. If you are into crochet or knitting this site is a MUST!! Not only did I find some excellent information on Bullions but I also found Prudence Mapstone and her website which sells a downloadable copy of Bullions & Beyond! Now I'm a happy camper!! Check out her site. She does some of the coolest freeform crochet & knitting! Anyway this was something I did a couple of weeks ago. Now I'm drifting into knitting too. I haven't knit in years but I like the idea of mixing the two together plus it gives me more variety with what I'm doing which does & doesn't feed that need to bounch all over the place.

Anyway that's it for today.

Monday, April 27, 2009

A Precarious Net Connection....

My Latest Plant Additions.....something low maintenance.....

Yummy!! From Trader Joe's and dirt cheap!!

My last batch from the kiln!

And a stamp I work on while I'm waiting for the internet to work! Cool isn't she!!

The internet issue has been going on now for about a week. I'm not calling again yet, because the outages are much less frequent, however if it doesn't stay on track soon I'll be back to the phone calls.

The weekend was extra busy between Chinese food on Friday, for 2 of my sisters Birthdays, and then dinner with the in-laws on Saturday. We always have a wonderful time visiting and the boys have a ball playing in their backyard with their cousin David.

The rest of the weekend was spent on the yard and house.

On the creative front I have been jumping all over the place. The good part is I'm actually finishing things that I've started. The bad part is that I'm still having trouble staying focused on any one thing for a long period of time. I'm beginning to think that this could be related to peri-menopause. I know that no one wants to hear about it but at 44 years young, I'm well into the throws of all the fun, with nights sweats, hot flashes, mood swings and a few other things I dare not mention. I'm really not apt to take any medications and am looking into natural remedies at this point. To say that I don't trust the medical community would be an understatement, since "they" almost killed my Mom several years ago and with drug companies pushing or being "pushers", to make, sell and get people addicted (or dependant) on their medications, I think I would be much better off sticking to natural medicine.

And on the word from my Aunt, both she and my Grandmother survived it just fine with out any manufactured hormones. I believe her words were "Isn't that what wine and chocolate were created for?". I do wonder if that was maybe the orgin for chocolate being created. So that men could give it to women during menopause, followed by some wine : D........

Speaking of wine. I intend to be conducting a little wine making experiment of my own. Since we have an abundance of dandelions, I thought I would try my hand at making some Dandelion Wine. The internet is full of recipes but I looked for one that was as basic as they come. No expensive equipment and kind of a quick make (1 month or more). The equivalent of Apple Jack if you know what I mean : ) I also found a recipe for some quick wine made from grape juice at the same site. Just click on the Dandelion Wine link. I'm hoping to get a batch started this coming weekend, I'll keep you posted on the results. Remember this is just for fun!

Anyway, I'm really trying to work on staying focused. I do remember a time when I was a child that I didn't have any problem working on things for hours as a time but since having kids of my own it's become an issue. Even when the kids aren't around I have trouble staying on task for more than 20-30 minutes except with lampworking. I can get in a good 2-3 hours session but don't last much longer than that. More recently (last couple of years) it has really become an issue and it's starting to drive me a bit crazy because I really want to start focusing on my art but seem to bounce around not quite finishing anything. As I said above, though.....this is something I'm really working on, so you should see me posting a bit more often.

Sooooo...... the pics above are recent events. Plants, wine, some lampwork and a stamp (in the process).

Enjoy your evening!