Thursday, May 29, 2008


I leave town on Saturday for the Bead and Button Show in Milwaukee. Sitting in my office today, it was very clear there are things that just aren't going to get done before I return. The big goal is to get 2 grants off my desk by tomorrow, but other than that....I am starting to have clarity when I look at my stack of work. There is nothing like an up coming vacation to make your priorities clear. As I got through the stack it is easy to say nope, no, never, nada, anthing that is not going to get done before I leave. I love doing that. With each folder that I toss on the "when I get back" stack the weight of the world starts falling off my shoulders. So I'll have a week to enjoy that feeling before becoming Atlas again.

Unfortunately I don't have that clarity about packing for the trip. I have one whole suitcase full of tools. That is just about packed. I have a couple of loads of laundry to do before I start packing clothes. Not that my wardrobe is anything jeans, black t-shirts, a few jackets and some sandals. But I have a tendency to clean house as I pack. I have to leave things neat before I leave.

Monday, May 26, 2008

My Mom and her friends

My Mom took me out to lunch yesterday. She brought her friends, Ruth and Irma with her. They are all in the 80's. They have know each other for a long time. Ruth and Irma have kids that went to school with me and we all went to the same church. Irma worked at the high school as a study hall monitor and Ruth was my Sunday school teacher. They hang out together as they have all outlived their husbands. They love to shop....Coldwater Creek is their favorite store. When they get sales notices they hop in the car and show up before the store opens so they can park right in front. They also love to gamble. They hop a bus and head up to Detroit so they can play the slot machines.....the penny slot machines. Ruth has a "friend" the last I heard, but Mom and Irma are of the same mind....been there, done that. They don't want to have to take care of another man in their lifetime. I sat and listened to them talk about their lives when they were young and raising their families. They had none of the conveniences that we take for granted. They washed clothes in a wringer washing machine and hung the clothes outside to dry...even in the winter. Mom talked about how she made our diapers ....there was no such thing as "Huggies". I honestly don't know how they took care of a husband/kids, kept the house clean, grew vegetables and stocked the freezer for the winter, found time to make our clothes, got involved in school and church. They are incredible.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

It's my birthday...It's' my birthday

and if I remember correctly....Katie just had a birthday. Happy Birthday Katie!!!

We went to see Eddie Izzard last night....he was great!! We had 4th row center stage seats!! The show was ~2 hours long and he went non-stop. You can tell that his mind works in strange and mysterious ways to come up with his material. He talks about history...and just bends it and makes you laugh.

Today I am just kicking back. Plant a few flowers. Make some jewerly. Work on some PMC. Lou wanted to take me out to dinner but I have a cold so I asked him to make me a spaghetti dinner tonight. One of the best things I've done is to teach him to make spaghetti...he kicks me out of the kitchen when he does it.....which is OK by me.


Friday, May 23, 2008

Why are doctors such asses???

Yesterday I had to Fed Ex a package to a cardiologist at Johns Hopkins. He provided me with the mailing address. Today I got an e-mail from him which started with ..."I told you to send the signed documents to my address which is clearly listed below" He continued to tell me that I left off the room number and the package has been delivered to his building that houses over 1000 people and that now he doesn't have this important document.

So.....being the person that I am...I hopped on to the Fed Ex site to compare the address I put on the package with the address he provided. He never provided me a room number. So I sent him his original e-mail and pointed out that there was no room and that the mistake was his. I also let him know that he was lucky to get the package because I left work so late last night that I had to drive it to the airport and practically put it on the plane myself.....well...not really. But the jets were parked right behind the office where I dropped of the package at 9PM last night.

I have a lot of doctor friends....but at times they are such asses!!! They need to teach them social skills when they go to med school.

It's a bird...its a's lightening fast

It's broadband. I finally have broadband...and it wasnt' easy. I signed up on line and the company sent me a modem. I scheduled an appointment for Wednesday from 4-6PM. So I took off work early and....nobody showed. I called about 7PM and the girl told me she would send the technician a flash message...but no call back. Lou called, Mom called, but no technician. 10PM the phone's customer service telling met the tech is tied up and won't be available for an hour. I started laughing....maybe it's me but I don't want a stranger in my house at 11PM. so we resheduled for today. Nice guy...showed up....hooked everything up but they couldn't activate it because they didn't have the modem in their inventory. After many calls and asking me numerous times how I got the modem....Hello.....I signed up on-line with your company and they sent me the modem. So the tech was told to install one of his modems. I was told to send my modem back and have them send me another one that is in inventory and then when that comes...hook it for activation....and take the modem that he installed and call the company to have them pick it up. that's customer service. Wouldn't it have been easier to just give me his modem and taken mine back. Too wierd. But I am up and running.....quickly. The real test will be been I try to upload pictures.

That was fast. This is Notre Dame in Paris which I can't wait to get back to this fall.


Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Why am I so happy??

I had to stop at Target tonight to pick up a few things. As I walked to the checkout the clerk remarked that I looked happy. I guess I am. I thought I was going to have to stop at multiple stores to find what I needed...but I found it all at Target....and a pair of shoes.... and National Treasure 2 with Nicholas Cage.

Plus....I am going to take Friday off for a 4-day weekend. Most of my time will be spent making jewelry. Now that's a Holiday weekend!!!

Plus.....It's only 10 days away from the B&B show in Milwaukee. I take great classes by great teachers, get to pal around with great friends from all over the country and I get to be creative....for an entire week. A 180 degree turnaround from what I normally get to do all week long...which is crunch numbers.

Plus....on Sunday I got a call from Michele ....she's so cool. If you are coming to the B&B show you have to stop at her booth to see (and buy!!) her beads. I am going to be her booth helper on Thursday when the show opens. Check out her website. Michele and Stephanie are going to be teaching bad ass jewelry making at Hacienda Mosaico in Mexico. That would be a great class (and trip) to take.

Plus.....I got into Celie Fago's bronze PMC class at the PMC conference in July.'s going to be so awesome to work in bronze. birthday present came today. Lou is in Germany but he told me I could open up the package when it came.....he got me a purse from Sundance. I love purses.....and he buys them for me on special occasions. This one is huge, a buttery yellow and the leather is as soft as suede.

Plus....we have tickets to see Eddie Izzard on Friday night. My present to myself.

Plus....I am just grateful to be alive for another day with so many things in life to look forward too.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Paris is On!!

I have found an apartment in Paris in the Saint Germain area. It won't have any grand views as it is on the ground does have it's own private garden. It has a patio with lounge chairs and a table and the bedroom is on the other side of the garden. The garden is treated as another living area. So I booked it. We will be going the beginning of October for 2 weeks. I don't think that I have ever been away for 2 whole weeks. This will be an experience. I don't imagine we will be bored :)) There is sooooo much to do in Paris. There were so many things that we didn't get to do last year. I want to see Versailles and send an entire day at the Marche aux Puce (flea market/antique market) in Saint Ouen.

Ah but that is months away and I have the B&B conference coming up the first week in June. I can't wait to see my friends Cris and Michelle. It is so much fun to meet up every year. Once I get back I have the Hathaway Brown Show in Shaker Heights. It will be a very busy month. Once the HB show is over I can get back to design work and just generally taking care of things that get pushed aside when you get ready for a show.

I have tons of things to do so I'm back later

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Oprah was in Cleveland on Monday and spoke at my hospital. On stage with her is Dr. Roizen (in blue) and Dr. Cosgrove (in grey). Roizen is the co-author of You: The Owner's Manual and a number of other "You" books. He is our Chief of Wellness and has been on Oprah's show with Dr. Oz a number of times. Dr. Cosgrove is our CEO.

Man...can Oprah talk. Cosgrove and Roizen didn't even need to be there. She talked about growing up in the church, her support of Obama, the school in Africa (and the lessons she learned there), and generally about helping people. She is extremely articulate. I'm always impressed by someone who can be completely at ease talking to a group. I'm always tripping over my tongue.

Doing some more PMC work this week. Firing up some copper/PMC medallions and stringing some more jewelry. I have to order some more rubber cords from Rio....I love these. They are relatively inexpensive which means you can stock up on them and not break the bank like you do with silver chains.

I have a bunch of stuff to take pictures of....soon. I am finally getting broadband. The equipment is on order and hopefully I will have it installed by next week. I can't wait. Dial up is just painful.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

It just can't be May already

Where does the time go?? It's just a matter of weeks before I head to the B&B show. I can't wait to see my friends. I need time to totally disconnect from work...both my day and night job. It has been non-stop for months now and the show coming up on June has added extra pressure, so I can't wait to get away.

My drive to and from work takes me through the inner-city. On the way home the other day I came to a dead stop when I saw this.......

The intersection of Cedar and E. 55th has been closed because of a sink-hole. The drop in traffic through this area gave BAK a chance to do this.

Then...back in white-bread land...this is a photo of the front of the house with everything in bloom.

Gotta get back to work.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The Joys of Being a Woman

Ahh...the joys of being a woman. I had my squish-o-gram done today. This is my term for a mammogram. It's the one preventative procedure that women go through that is quick and least I think so. This nice girl....always a female tech... has to manipulate your boobs in between 2 plates and then squish them. It literally takes your breath away. I've had techs say "hold your breath" while they take the image.....What Breath???. At my hospital the images are now digital rather than film. I could see the images after she took them on a screen in the room. And they looked huge up on the screen :))

When you are old enough to get this's like you've joined an exclusive club. When I had my first one a few years ago my mother sent me mammogram cartoons and friends e-mailed me jokes. And you can't explain it to younger's just something you have to experience.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Pendants....and my second stupid moment of the month

The medallions came out beautiful. I could bend them around a mandrel if I wanted to....nice. So I have rebuilt the pendants, except for the ones with copper. And here is where the second stupid moment occured. I put the copper medallions in the kiln at 1650 for 2 hours. Not a good idea. The silver still had some shrinking to do and it tore itself in spots. The copper came out black and the fire scale is so thick I don't know if I can get rid of it. So I hopped over to the Metal Clay group on Yahoo only to be reminded that I should have fired the medallions with copper at 1470. I'll never make that mistake again. I need to find some copper polish to see if I can get rid of the fire scale. If not....who knows what I will do with them.

Besides firing and remaking the pendants...I managed to put together three bracelets and a necklace. Of course I didn't do much of anyting else. Once the June show is over I don't have another one until October. I can't wait for that gap so I can design rather than do production work.

I have been looking for an apartment in Paris. There are so many. The trick is finding one that I like...I am a good location at an a price we can afford. There are some inexpensive ones, but they are so small. I looked at one today that was a literally a box for a living room with a ladder you climbed up to crawl into a bed. I don't think that I need to be that frugal. The trip will only be for 2 weeks rather than the month I would have liked. Two weeks is plenty of time to explore Paris...I just had this dream of losing myself in Paris for a month.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Stupid Moment of the Month

And the month has only begun.....

I made a big batch of little accent beads out of PMC3 to hang on the medallions and make bead caps. I put one in the dapping block to make a bead cap and it got stress fractures in it. So I tested the tensile strength by trying to bend it....SNAP. So I tried another one....SNAP. And another....SNAP. I was snapping them in 2 like they were made of balsa wood. I checked the package insert for run time/temp and compared it to the PMC3 program on my kiln. The temp was consistent, but the times were a bit different. So I looked in the Rio catalog for more info and found a little note at the bottom of the page that for maximum strength you should fire PMC3 at 1650 for 2 hours. Now I usually work in PMC+ and use the program on the kiln (1650 for 10 minutes) and have never had a problem. But with PMC3, the program on the kiln isn't sufficient. Luckily PMC can be refired with no adverse effects. So I have refired all the little accent beads and then are quite strong now. And then I realized.....All the pendants (pictured below) that I made were from PMC3 and I used the kiln program.....damn, damn, damn. I decided to test one of the medallions that I hadn't assembled into a pendant yet.....SNAP. So, I have disassembled the pendants so I can refire the PMC3 medallions. I will reassemble them tomorrow. What a waste.