Text Charm Swap!

I mailed off my charms for this swap, but I gotta tell ya, this one is iffy!  Not real sure if I executed properly, so I have told Maureen if they don’t pass, don’t send them out.  So I will wait til I get her thoughts before posting a picture.  And were they ever hard to get–and do not really do them justice.  But oh, well.  Can you wait?

Happy Mother’s Day!

I had vowed not to use my blog for anything but art.  But then today when I fired up the thunderbird, the first thing I saw on my yahoo home page is how much a mother would earn if she were paid.

First of all, motherhood is not a JOB.  It is a gift–just ask the women who would–and do–just about anything to have a child.  Everything I do as a mother, I do out of pure, unselfish love.  It has to be, because if it were a job, I could have refused–or outsourced– the ones that involved cleaning up stuff that was loosed from bodily openings!  An old Arabic proverb says, ‘All sunshine makes a desert'(don’t quote me exactly, but you get the gist).  Yes, even motherhood has some less than beautiful moments.  A very small price, if you ask me.

And secondly, which follows next with a job is PAY.  Yes, it is all of a child’s ‘firsts’–words, steps, school, and on and on.  But I really earned my pay on the days and nights that I held my children and cried deep, gut-wrenching sobs over young love’s broken heart.  The jobs that are being priced are those everyday, day-to-day functions, and while very essential, to me are menial when I compare them to the resources that I have to access at those times.  You cannot put a dollar amount on that–even at psychologist/psychiatrist scale.  Don’t even try.

Thirdly, if it’s a job, then you have to have QUALIFICATIONS, besides biological.  This presents some problems on 2 levels–first, who is going to enforce it, and secondly, what about a person’s rights.  Government is too big and to inefficient–especially with something this important.  And if you’ve had any dealings with our criminal justice system, you know that the criminals have more rights than the victim.  And I’m going to stop here–you can follow my thread, however.

And lastly, since you have to have qualifications, you have to have some type of EDUCATION/EXPERIENCE.  The only schooling that I know(and correct me if I’m wrong,and yes, I know about carrying an egg around for 6 weeks, well, they’re trying…)is after the fact.  After an abuse/neglect conviction.  The only kind of experience you get is on-the-job-training, and there is nothing–not to mention any prior thought–to prepare for a child that is challenged.  And if any mention is made, you’re labeled negative.  Or worse–wishing that on them!  It’s brutal honesty, which is another perk of motherhood!

But, wait a minute!  If it’s a job, then a mother could get FIRED!  Or, and this is too big for me to wrap my mind around–QUIT!  And what kind of BONUS could you give your mother?  Yeah, you try to wrap your mind around that!

So, you see, motherhood just does not meet any of the parameters of a job.  Quit denigrating it by trying to put a price on it, because it is a priceless gift.  Oh, and Mother’s day is everyday.

Just for Aimslee!

One of the biggest craft storage dilemmas is how to store ribbon. I know it was for me. I had it in a huge box, and just kept adding ribbon to it, because I never looked at it because I had to drag the box out! So, needless to say, I had quite a collection.

I bought a tie rack at a thrift store–I didn’t really know what I was going to do with it when I bought it, but I got to thinkin’….and came up with the idea to use it for my ribbon AND dress up my studio at the same time.

Here’s what I did. I put up a hanger, and rigged the rack to hang from it. Then I took about 4-5 lengths of ribbon and put them on a safety pin, and pinned about 4-5 to one of the individual tie holders, and I did it by color. When that was all done, and it took a while, I hung it on the holder and pulled half to one side of the window and the other half to the other side and secured them. As luck would have it, I was at a garage sale and found this big honkin’ flower arrangement, which I thought would look great as a cover for the black box. And Wah-Lah!

Now when I need a piece of ribbon, I just go over to the window and cut me a piece off! I’m using a lot more ribbon in my art nowadays!!!! And I know what I have and don’t have. Win-win situation!!!!!

So, Aimslee(from my Gluebots yahoo group), here’s what I was trying to explain…..

And without further ado, here are pictures of it:

The black box!

The black box!

Ribbon!
Ribbon!
The whole shebang!

The whole shebang!

Just for Jade!

Well, Jade from the Charmsters group has asked to see what I have done on the Round Robin Necklace Swap, because she always sends to me.  So without further ado, here are some of the charms that I have made(in no particular order…)
100_01473
Theme:  Who Are You?
I used a Barbie doll head to make the mask–we all wear them, hide behind them….
Theme:  Embrace Change

Theme: Embrace Change

 I used a permanent rod–the quote is something that my 8th grade English teacher, Oliver J. Muser, used to tell us, and also that even a permanent isn’t permanent.  Sage advice!

Theme:  Let Love In

Theme: Let Love In

 I rubberstamped both the heart with wings and the word, ‘Love’ on Shrinky Dink.  I cut a slice out of the heart to embed the word, letting love in…..

Theme:  Garden Architecture

Theme: Garden Architecture

 This is the back…..

Theme:  Garden Architecture

Theme: Garden Architecture

 and the front.  Denise also used a brass(I think)hand, so I knew I was on the right wave length.

Theme:  Togetherness

Theme: Togetherness

 I used a vintage photo of 2 women that is wrapped in a cocoon bead.

Theme:  Marie Antoinette

Theme: Marie Antoinette

This is my necklace!  I hope everyone is really blingin’ it up!!!!!

Art & Soul, Portland, ’08

Art & Soul was amazing–again–and the first person I saw was Laurel!  We chatted for a bit and I headed for Collage to do a little shopping!  I know you think that that’s all that I do!  I stayed one night at the new ‘overflow’ hotel–I can’t think of the name of it right now.  Very modern–nice, but very modern.  I stayed the rest of the time with Kecia(of course!).

I had a pretty full schedule again.  I know I said I wasn’t going to do that, but I figure while I’m out there, I might as well be in a class–as long as it’s something I want to learn.

This year started off with Misty Mawn, ‘A Little Art of Remodeling Book’.  We used magazine pages and ‘remodeled’ them.  Fun class. 

Wed. night, Kecia, Pam and I had ‘Transfers and Transparencies’ with Diane Downs Lou.  Previously, we had found out why they call it ‘Happy Hour’, so we were pretty ‘happy’ to take this class.  Nothing new for me in the transfer area, and I had just begun to incorporate transparencies in some of my work, but saw how she takes it a step further.

Back with Misty Thurs/Fri for ‘Ulterior Motif’ Mural.  Since I am horrible at drawing/painting faces, I incorporated a face using the technique I learned the day before for my mural.  I was pretty happy with the way it turned out–still have a bit more to do to it, but a great class.  Got REAL messy!

I had planned to take a class from DJ Pettitt, but she had to cancel due to health reasons, and Kelly Rae Roberts stepped in with ‘Patchwork Collage’.  She’s a real sweetheart, and oh so helpful.  I want to do some more of her stuff!

Sun/Mon I had ‘Beautiful Paper’ with Anne Bagby.  The energy this woman has!!!!!  This class was really fun, and I got REALLY messy.  We used deli wrap and monoprinted with her big, honkin’ stamps that she carved herself(and some other ones, along with some stencils).  I came away with some AMAZING paper–not ready to use it yet–it’s really different!  If you ever get a chance to take this class, her supply list states that you need 4 bottles of craft paint.  Take more!  I ran out the first day!  And thank God for that cute little Christine Hendry, for thinking to ask Maria(Collage)if she carried any craft paint–and she did–and had it put on the shuttle for me!  She really saved the day!!!!!

Sun PM, I was with Denise in a class by Jessica Acosta, ‘Face Cabochons-Tricks & Techniques’, and she wasn’t just a-whistlin’ Dixie!  You would never believe how you start out making a face in clay.  No wonder I could never do it!hahahaha  Yep, this little lady had all the scoop!  Great teacher!

Then Tues/Wed, Kecia and I stayed over to take Judy Wilkenfeld’s, ‘Just in Case’.  Intense class, but she did a great job of breaking it down into manageable pieces!  I still have a lot to do on my book, but I can’t wait to see how it ends up!

Well, I’m exhausted just talking about it!  It was an awesome retreat, but I was just exhausted by the end of Tuesday.  And due to a mix-up with my lodging, I ended up staying the night at the Red Lion, just a bit down the road from the Embassy.  Wonderful people, wonderful room, wonderful restaurant.  I will definitely stay there again!

THEN, SWAPS & FATBOOK!!!!!  OMG!  Marian did a fab job with the Fatbooks.  Thanks, Marian!

Here’s the page I submitted:

pdx-fatbook-page1

If you lift the shell, there’s a poem from Inka Stamps:

A seashell is never empty–

It’s filled with many things.

It holds the sounds of crashing waves

and songs that mermaids sing.’

And here’s a pic of my Charmster’s swap:

pdx-08-charmster-swap

I used a tag punch and punched tags out of green/blue pop cans.  Morphed collage sheet beauties with a mermaid rubber stamp, and Wah-Lah!  My charm for Charmsters!

Seattle!

When I got back from Valley Ridge, I started getting ready for Art & Soul in Portland in October.  But before that, I went to spend a few days with my friend, Laura.   One day she took me to Poulsbo, then to Port Townsend–we stamped our brains out one day–and then, you know the drill–we shopped our way down to Portland–and did some more shopping at Collage set up in Embassy’s lobby.  Here’s some pics: 

  This is my room at the Doubletree–I did a Park Sleep & Fly, so they stuck me in the rooms in the back 40.  Nothing spectacular about the room–but they did have Neutrogena products and Wolfgang Puck coffee, and a chocolate chip cookie when I checked in.  I only make mention of this because, due to a mix-up with my accommodations in Portland I had the opportunity to stay at a Red Lion, and the difference in the 2 motels was stark!  The room was just awesome–high beds, attention to detail that just blew me away–especially how they had the towels done up in the bath–oh, and they had Bath & Body works products, and they weren’t stingy with them, either.  I will definitely stay with them again, if I get the opportunity!

 

room-at-doubletree

This was at O’Hare, but no Marie Antionette sightings!let-the-eat-cake

 

bad-blanches-in-poulsboI had to take a picture of this–my mother’s name is Blanche!

Valley Ridge Studio

I cannot begin to tell you how much I enjoyed this trip.  I love Wisconsin–not alot of traffic, really green, rolling hills, and quiet.  We met up with Kim and Julie, Kecia’s friends, and had the time of our lives at Nina’s workshop.  I wasn’t real sure about this little jaunt–I’m more a paper artist–and didn’t really know what to take, because I had no idea what we were going to be doing. 

The first day, we made charms with PMC.  I approached it with fear and trepidation, because this one little bitty pack of clay cost $25, so I couldn’t screw it up.  Plus, my daughter back home wanted all the skinny when I got back.  So the pressure was really on!  We learned several of Nina’s techniques.  She was just a wonderful instructor–if you ever get a chance to take one of her workshops, do!  And I loved listening to her accent!

Day 2, we put it all together–well, I did.  Several of the others had already completed several pieces, which is fine.  I am one of the more contemplative artists.  Maybe I do think too much.  But that’s the way I’m hard-wired.

Anyway, not really sure of what I was doing, but Wah-Lah.  Here is my finished necklace!100_0070

Here’s a close-up:

100_00691

Remember, I wasn’t sure about this from the beginning.  But I was very happy with the ending.  It surpassed my wildest dreams.