Saturday, January 30, 2010

Making Texture Sheets

I've been playing with pictures using the kaleidoscope feature. I took a picture of an ancient stained glass window in Paris

And turned it into this....

You can pick out the rider's face but I plan to cut my pieces insdie of him. The inside looks very tribal to me. It even looks like there's a lions head there. That's why the kaleidoscope feature is so much fun.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Beautiful Beadies!!!

I bought some beads from Ellen Dooley. Check out her Etsy shop. She has always been one of my favorites. These colors go really well with the bronze.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Weekend Work

It's 2 AM and I'm still up...not surprising on a weekend. I spent the day taking pictures for Etsy, cleaning the house, doing the laundry, and cuddling the cats.

I found a secret source of French ephemora.

Here are some old dominoes. I probably could have found some old ones at a flea market here...but they wouldn't be Frrrrrrench. I also received a packet of letters and documents...some of them are from 1906...over 100 years old. They are amazing...beautiful penmanship. If only I could read them.

I'm finally working on posting things on Etsy. It takes forever..taking and editing pictures and creating the post.

I've been featured in latest newsletter from Metal Clay Guru and added to their artist list. Take a look. I hope to write up some tips and techniques for the site.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A way to help the people of Haiti

Dr. Linda Graham is a vascular surgeon and Chair of the Biomedical Engineering department in the Research Institute where I work. She is truely an amazing woman. She was in New Orleans a couple of times after Katrina and she is now in a border town of Haiti with the International Medical Alliance. Here is a message from her husband who also works in the Research Institute.

"I heard from Linda last night. All is going well and she is operating all day every day. She is at a small clinic in Jimani, a border town in the Dominican Republic about 30 miles from Port-au-Prince. They are caring for about 2000 badly injured earthquake victims, with many more arriving every day. You can see her at work on the web site of the International Medical Alliance"

Here is a picture of Linda and another surgeon

You can help by donating to the International Medical Alliance so they can continue the work that they are doing in Haiti.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Bow Chica Wow Wow...

A friend of making wine bags. They have 6 compartments on the inside to carry wine bottles and glasses. Check out the fabric she found.....

Ride Em Cowboy!!! Woo Hoo!!! I've already placed my order for one.

Monday, January 18, 2010

A few things from the kiln

I had a few unfinished pieces up on my bench from a few months ago. I needed to get back to the bench so I finished and fired them. Here they are...lots of great browns and oranges.

It's only Monday but I'm looking forward to the weekend. Lou is headed to Florida for golf and I have the entire weekend to myself.....uninterrupted time in the doesn't get any better than that. Unless it's time spent with the kitties.

There's nothing happier then a cat in front of a heating vent.

Sophie says it's time to get off the computer and pay attention to her.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Bead and Button classes

Yesterday was good day because I got all the classes that I wanted at Bead and casting, enamels, riveting, and one class where you spend most of the time beating the crap out of sheet doesn't get any better than that.

I didn't jam pack the week. I'm not taking anything on Wednesday. There's a industrial salvage place in Chicago that has been calling my name...Urban Remains. I'm heading down there and I'm dragging Cris with me.

It's always interesting to watch what sells out of the first day. It changes from year to year and depends on what techniques and teachers are hot. Some classes that I think will sell out...don't. Others that I didn't even notice....sell out. The flex shaft class that Rio is teaching sold out...that didn't surprise me. I think a good percentage of people only use it to drill. I would have signed up for this (my flex shaft is still in the box) but it conflicted with the other classes that I wanted.

So now I have to wait until June to take all these fun classes. I'll be spending my time in the studio until then.

A few pictures from last year.....

Cris and Anne

Cris and a yummy German restaurant


Karen and Cris

Me, Cris, Gigi and Henriette

Sunday, January 10, 2010

What to do....what to do...

Faced with a new year, a new start...what to do...what to do??? I feel like I have so many things that I don't know what to do first. There's so many ideas buzzing around in my head and so many directions to go in. I have a room full of books that will take me down one path or another. New techniques to learn, old civilizations to study. I know that I will only be able to choose one or two but how do I decide which ones to concentrate on. It's a mystery.

I'm also trying to narrow down classes for Bead Fest in Santa Fe and Bead and Button in Milwuakee. As Murphy's Law dictates....some of my top choices for class have time conflicts. I was talking to Cris on Saturday trying to figure out Bead and Button. We talked so long I think I'm deaf in one ear...not because she's loud...LOL. I'm the person that qualifies for loud...I had the speaker on the phone turned up. Not a good idea when you are talking for 1 hour plus.

Cris in Santa Fe 2009

Anyway, I guess now is the time to put "the word" into play (my word for 2010 is ACT). Instead of spending a whole lot of time trying to figure out which direction to take...I need to just take one. If it's not the right one I can always change directions. Just like the movie said..."if your tangled up, just tango on". Now who can tell me what movie that's from ????

Friday, January 8, 2010

Snow Blowing Fool

I bought a snow blower last night. The prediction for today was 6-10 inches of snow. Lou usually only shovels snow when I nag him and there are always those horrible stories of people dropping dead while shoveling snow. Even people in their 30s. So I decided it was time we had a snow blower.

Of course we didn't get the snow they predicted but it was worth it to see Lou cleaning the driveway last night. He was outside in his deck socks on and his pants kept creaping down. He was halfway down the driveway when I'm looking at butt crack. I just started laughing and went into the house.

So if your in Bay Vilage some day and you see some guy out there with no socks and his pants falling down....that just my snow blowing fool of a husband.

However, he was impressed at how quickly he was able to clear the driveway. His comment was..."look how long it didn't take me to clean the driveway".

This is from last February's snow storm.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Metal Clay Tools from the kitchen store

I love kitchen stores, but not for kitchen supplies....for metal clay supplies. I picked these things up in Paris at a store I found there last year. I wish they had a website because they had some really fun things.

Plastic place mats make a good surface to roll out the metal clay. You just have to be careful about using any kind of knife or pin tool on these because they will cut or scratch. So I still put the clay on a teflon sheet if I want to use sharp tools. I like them because you can bend the placemats and easily move any dust, pieces parts, or shavings into a container.

I couldn't resist an Eiffel Tower tray to dry my clay pieces on. I love La Tour Eiffel. It's metal and rivets...what's not to love.

A glass trivet to lay out polymer clay for tearaways. If you put it in your lap while you are burnishing, it picks up heat from your body helping the transfer process.

There's so many cool things in the kitchen store....and some you can actually use for cooking.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Can it really be 2010???

I remember sitting in front of the TV watching 2000 roll in. I spent the night alone because Lou had to be at the hospital in case Y2K was a disaster. It wasn't. I can't believe a year has gone by...let alone a decade. I sound old...LOL. Only older people talk about how fast time passes.

Last night we went to dinner with family and friends. Good dinner....way too much food and champagne. I was asleep before midnight.

I guess now is the time I should be thinking about what I want to accomplish in the next year. I hear the new thing is not to do resolutions...but to choose a word to inspire your path in the coming year. My word for the year is "ACT". I have periods of time when I seem to founder. I don't get into the studio, ideas don't come to fruition, chores don't get done.....I vegitate...both physically and mentally. So I will remind myself to "ACT".

With that in mind...I will spend some time in the studio tomorrow. I have some unfinished bronze pieces that need some attention and I want to improve one of images that I've used as a tear-away.

And right now I have to put a load of laundy in they dryer....I guess "ACT" applies to work as well as play.

Recipe for a New Year

No I'm not switching over to a cooking blog....everyone who knows me knows that I don't cook...much. But this recipe is easy and wonderful and just the thing for a cold winter day.

Forgotten Jambalaya....chop everything up, throw it in the slow cooker, and "forget about it".

1 can 14-1/2 oz diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can 14-1/2 oz beef or chicken broth (I use chicken)
1 can 6 oz tomato paste
2 medium green peppers, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
3 celery ribs, chopped
5 garlic cloves, minced
3 tsp dried parsley flakes
2 tsp dried basil
1-1/2 tsp dried oregano
1-1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp hot pepper sauce
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 pound smoked sausage, cut into 1/4 inch slices
1/2 pound medium shrimp
Hot cooked rice

In a 5-qt slow cooker, combine all ingredients except the shrimp. Cook on high for 4 hours. Stir in shrimp and cook for 30 minutes longer. Serve over the rice.

My brother, who is becoming quite the cook, ate 3 bowls at I think he liked it. If you have the time make it the day before. Letting is sit overnight does something magical to it.

A time for love.....

I'm delaying my New Year's Day blog to post this from Gail Crosman Moore. I believe we are here on earth to help one another. Here is a chance to help a fellow artist and one of my sweet friends....Meesh.

"In my ego-centric world things aren't going so great, but my plight will be relatively short lived. I'm going to follow sage advice and bring your attention to my/our dear friends plight....Michele Goldstein is caring around the clock for the dying father of her children. (There is no time for their family to prepare for the end of his life. Steve's sickness was unexpected and the cancer is moving quickly through his body. His death is imminent, and it's only been three weeks since he was diagnosed.)

If you know Meesh, you know that she is the kindest of souls and is always generous and puts others first. She would never think about asking for money from others. That is why her friends are asking you to think of sending her something.

In looking at the dawning of a new 'age', a new year, I want to start it right and send a loving message of direct help to one of us who is in need. Meesh has been unable to work, has needed to cancel shows and is looking at an uncertain future for herself and her two young boys.

It is my hope that we could take some immediate heat off of her situation by laying down a little padding to her nest. Could you help?

If you can help, the most direct route would be through her Paypal account.( If you could forward this to anyone who might be interested in helping, please do!

We will be following this up with an interesting auction of donated items, if you would like to become a part of this please contact either me at or Anne Mitchell at to develop a trust for her children. "

Please help with a donation or an item to auction.