Monday, December 27, 2010

Walking in a Winter Wonderland

We came within a few hours of having a White Christmas this year. While it does snow in our area sometimes, it usually comes in January or February. We also usually get only a couple of inches.

We measured 7.5 inches in the morning, but we maybe had more as it kept coming down all day.
Here are a few more photos of our winter wonderland.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas Eve

The stockings are hung

The tree is decorated

Visions of sugarplums, um I mean tuna fish, are dancing in his head

Wishing you lots of

this Christmas and a happy, healthy New Year 

with loads of love like this. (No, they have not
been good cats as you can see by the torn upholstery.)
But they know they are loved anyway.
Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

So Blessed

Why do we take so long to appreciate the blessings we have? I know I get caught up in the everydayness of life and before I know it a month or year has passed. My brothers and I planned a surprise for my mom's 80th birthday. We did not tell her we were coming home and just showed up through out the day. She certainly was surprised and pleased I think.
This experience was so precious. We have not all been together at one time in such a long time. I am just coming to the acceptance that my parents will not be with us forever. That is such a hard thing when in my mind I have never existed without them. Who knows though as not only do I have both my parents but my Dad still has all his sisters and a brother. As he likes to say "in our family we have long livers". Anyway, I am going to make a conscious effort to enjoy my blessings every day.

I sometimes wonder how I got so many wonderful friends also. This is my goddaughter that recently was  married. I feel so blessed that her parents asked me to be her godmother. I wrote in a past blog that I had made some earrings for a wedding. This is one of the earrings on the ear of the lovely maid of honor.

I was pleased with the way they turned out as I have not done a lot of work with beads. They really looked striking when you could see the coordination with the bridesmaid dresses.
I have also been creating a bit when I can squeeze in some time after work. These are all earrings that I've completed lately.

Enjoy the blessings of your day today!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Dear Blog,

After quite some absence from blog land, I'm back! Seems that when I went back to work after the summer break it was difficult to find the time and energy to actually sit, think and write. There have been many changes on the work front and I have not been in the frame of mind I need to be to be creative. Some responsibilities have been completed so I am hoping to find my muse again.

Fall has finally arrived in NC after what would more likely be described as an Indian Summer. I have the most beautiful ginkgo tree across the street from my house and it has been gradually turning a bright yellow over the past few weeks.
Almost all have fallen now and it seems like golden snowflakes have drifted down to the street creating a soft hushed sound as I walk through them.
So dear blog I'll be back soon with jewelry pieces I made while taking an online class with Deryn Mentock and Sharon Tomlinson called Towers and Turrets. Great fun!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Weddings, Earrings and ArtFest

 I just finished six pairs of earrings for a wedding. They turned out very nice I think. I tend to work more with metal fabrication and these were beaded.  I didn't think I would like beading.... much too tedious, but I was pleasantly surprised. Now hopefully the bride and her bridesmaids will like them also.
If it were not for the heat we are having in the South I would wish for summer vacation all over again. That would only be because I would like to have some time to create art. I now come home bone weary and cannot think a creative thought for myself. I don't even cook for my sweet other like I used to. But I am looking forward to April because I am going to Artfest! I have wanted to go for a while and decided that this will be the year. The packets are due this week or weekend. Can't wait! I think that no matter what classes I get into I'll learn a lot and meet some wonderful artists. Anyone else going?

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Art in My Pajamas

I am loving taking classes online. Wear whatever you please.  As I mentioned before, I recently took a digital layers class with Susan Tuttle. I am now taking a mixed media class with Sharon Tomlinson and Deryn Mentock. I feel like I am going ten different ways to Sunday, but it's been fun and I've learned a lot. I thought that today I'd share some more photos from the digital layers class...mixed media coming soon. Have a terrific Tuesday!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Summer's End....School Begins

It's that time's back in session! It's been a great summer with Kelly Rae's class, Susan Tuttle's digital class, and having time to create art, but it's time to get back to the real world I guess. This is a busy time for me as I get my classroom together and lessons planned. I wish sometimes I could be two people (who doesn't?) so I could teach yet have time to create art.
I had to attend a workshop Tuesday that was very interesting. It was based on the book "Teaching With Love and Logic". The speaker had many suggestions that work with children that are uncooperative in the classroom. Sadly many children come to us from chaos. They are the "adult" in the family sometimes. So much in their life is out of their control that in order to establish some control they try to exert that in the classroom. There were many techniques offered that I plan to try that respect the child yet diffuse potentially volatile situations.
Unfortunately I have not had any time this week to get into my studio. I seem to be dog-tired when I get home, or there just isn't time. How do you all find time to create with all the other demands of life? I'd really be interested to know.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Hot, But Fun

That's the way I will always remember the summer of 2010. Summer vacation really agrees with me. I've started to feel that end of summer feeling though. The days just hover in the heat. There is something about summer itself that seems to want to hang on to the season like a child clutching his favorite blanket. Those dog days of summer.
However, the real world is calling me back next week and it will be time to greet the 700+ children I teach. Oh me, just saying that number makes me feel tired. I love what I do, I really do. It can be so joyful, frustrating, disappointing and delightful all at once.

I am having one more fling at fun while I can squeeze it in. I've been taking "Digital Layers" with Susan Tuttle. Susan is also the author of Digital Expressions. I bought the book first and I am glad I have Susan's help along the way with creating digital layers. Suddenly layers make sense! Well to me they do. Here are a few photos I've been working on in the class.

Heaven knows I have enough hobbies and interests so no I am not going to become a photographer. I though this might be a good way to play around with some ideas for painting/collage compositions. I've had a couple of ideas churning in my mind lately and wanted to get an idea of how it might look before I being the real thing. What do you do for yourself that makes summer fun?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Beaches, Storms and a Dash of George Costanza

  The stay at the beach was good for the soul as I had time to sit and marvel at the magnificence of a God that created such beauty. So often, and true this trip, the weather is gorgeous on the day I have to leave. I pondered that a moment and I think it is so we have good memories and will look forward to our return with hopeful hearts.

 One of the things that amazes me at the coast is how peaceful it is and then how quickly violent the ocean and sky can become...and then once again...beautiful.  There was one afternoon when "the sea was angry that day my friend, like an old man trying to send back soup in a deli".

 I have never liked thunder and lightning too much and one big bang was a little too close for comfort. Soon sirens were heard approaching and we discovered that the house two doors down had been hit by lightning. Fortunately no one was hurt and the skies cleared by the next morning.

Here's a few more of those memories I want to share with you. Bathing suits not required.

There were many little found treasures I picked up while on the beach which I'm sure will inspire my art work.  In fact I see my bench is calling me....

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Taking a Break

We're spending some time down at the coast...doing mostly nothing. This is where I am inspired the most by nature. Something is so calming and meditative about just sitting and watching the ocean roll in. I have found several interesting shells, rocks and wood that all give me ideas for some new pieces of jewelry.

Here's just a bit of my world this week.

I did bring along some of my jewelry tools and supplies. So I've been trying to work out a few designs. It goes slowly though as I wish I had brought this tool or that material. However, I did bring a sketchbook so my designs will have to live there until I return home. While I am away my assistant, Bailey, will take over my blog.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Studio Re-do

I thought at one time I wanted to be an interior designer. It's probably a good thing I didn't do that as I would still be stuck in my very first project moving the furniture around over and over not being able to make up my mind. Such was the case with redecorating this studio. Part of the challenge is that I share this space with my husband and all his computer equipment. So this may all look different in a few months. This all started with my purchase of a kiln for enameling. I needed somewhere to put it so we trekked three hours to Ikea to get the storage table that is in this photo. It's a great table and has an amazing amount of space,

however, I am going to have to put the kiln on something else while firing. I also got these really cute black lamps to go over my work area. They don't take up table space and are adjustable.

Get a good look at the top of my work table. It already does not look like this anymore.

Now that you have had the official tour I think I will go and

Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, July 19, 2010

A Walk and Yard Art

Since I have not been teaching school this summer I have tried to begin a habit of walking everyday. I could walk at the gym; and do if it's too hot or raining. However that is boring and I don't feel I'm getting anywhere. I am certainly not seeing my neighborhood up close and personal. Today I decided to do just that. I went armed with my camera with the plan being to take time to really look. Really see all the things I pass by each day. Before we go any further I have to confess. I have a thing for yard art. Not the ticky tacky plastic junk. I live in an older, more gentrified neighborhood but I learned today that many of my neighbors must have a sense of  whimsy.

 Isn't this just the cutest house? Not technically yard art, but if you look just above the porch there is a lizard.

I remember the rock group Iron Butterfly, but I don't think this one is singing "In a Gadda da Vida". Much more attractive anyway.

I love this little birdhouse with it's own flower pot of lantana.

And a porch hare

We don't often see many deer in these parts.

My favorite. Doesn't he look so noble, so protective?

Yes, I know, my furry friend is not really yard art....he just wanted his picture taken.

All this yard art is really about just being in the moment and being observant. I've walked by these things many times and have never seen them.  I think I'll take myself and my camera for a walk again this week. How do you keep yourself in the moment?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Jewelry Charm Swap

I have been trying to take time to reflect on all the things I am grateful for. So husband, family, my job, my cat boys, even running water. Friends are up there on that list too.  A few years ago I was looking for something to get me out of the house and be creative. I found a jewelry fabrication class that I thought looked interesting taught by Erica Bailey. I never thought I would have loved it as much as I do. I also made some great friends in this class. We often socialize and have jewelry swaps. It is a great way to challenge ourselves and always interesting to see what each person creates given the same topic. We have had pin swaps, Christmas ornament swaps and recently had a charm swap. This is what I created to exchange.

There's a lot of excitement as each piece is displayed. Each person created twenty one charms and when we exchanged them we had a bracelet with a charm from everyone. 

Each pin, ornament and charm is a reminder of the people that have led me along this path I am on. I have always believed that people come and go in life for a reason. Our task is to be aware and learn from our relationships with those that cross our path. So I am grateful to  Kelly Rae and all my "Flying Lessons" friends. I believe I am becoming who I was meant to be.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Do Fortune Cookies Tell the Truth?

I am still cleaning, rearranging and taking apart my studio to make it more creatively friendly. This is what I found amongst much ephemera lurking in a drawer.

How cool is that? I think that when I first saved this it was in the spirit of hope. Now that I am keeping it; it  is now my talisman, my inspiration to succeed in becoming who I am meant to be.
My trip to find some suitable storage for my soon to be remodeled studio was successful. I'm excited to see the way it is coming together and to show it to you.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

New Beginnings

Last week I finished an e-course taught by the lovely Kelly Rae Roberts. Everything I've been searching for about beginning a creative business and then some was there. What would YOU do if you knew you could not fail? Well, that really opens up some options doesn't it? So I have begun to recognize my fears and to take steps to go beyond them.

That first step has been to create a blog. So after a week of designing I think I have finally tweeked it to my satisfaction. Tomorrow is going to be the beginning of a studio overhaul. We are going here to get to get something to help with the redecorating. This is a photo of the studio as it is now.

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