Friday, March 31, 2006

At least one thing is totally done......

I finished my last entry for the URSA competition, got the pictures taken and sent them for my favorite part, waiting (very big NOT!!!) At any rate, these are being entered in a competition that will depend on votes, so as soon as I have the page link for the voting, I'll get it up and posted so all of my readers can go and vote (PLEASE!!)

Yesterday I did manage to finish 1 (yeah, only 1) bear, but many more are very close.

Also got the fabric back drop finished. This consisted of taking some corregated cardboard and cutting it into pieces, then making a fabric "sleeve" to slide the cardboard into. The fabric is printed in greens like leaves of plants, which I think will be a nice "jungle" background for the miniature animals that I'll be showing next weekend in Nevada City.

Met with the web site group last night. Lots to get done in the next few days before I leave on that score too....seems my project list never gets smaller....

Time to go get some breakfast then on to work on those bears!!

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Working right down to the wire!

Yup, as usual, stuff happens, and here I am with 5 days before we leave for a show and a whole basket of bears not done....[sigh!]

Did spend a lot of time yesterday working on them tho'. The picture shows the 21 that were ready for eyes, ears and toes. I actually got eyes and toes on 19 of them! Today's work will include closing the last 2 that we got stuffed then finishing faces on the whole crew.

I also have a fabric backdrop to complete, and of course the laundry, ironing, packing, etc., that goes into doing a show.

And this evening, off to a meeting with someone that wants me to build her a website (this was supposed to happen a month ago, so it would have been done by now, but NOOOOOO)

Ah well, you have to admit it keeps me busy!

Time to crank up the CD of Wicked and get to work (don't make me get my winged monkeys!!!)

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Parts of lots of things.....

are getting done.

Today's picture is of the 4th block in the quilt project. This is just the applique part of the block, after the stripping is added, I'll be embroidering the details.

The background of the Icon is progressing. Now that its getting close to the finishing, I'm getting impatient (as usual!) The background patterning is kind of neat.

Today I stitched up the 4 bears that the DH cut out yesterday. Three of these are the pattern that we call Scrappie.....every one of the 19 pieces is a different fabric, because these are made out of my scrap pieces from other bears.

The fourth bear is a brand new design that we came up with in the last week. We started off with a little bear that we had done before, enlarged the pattern, changed the body and the hear. So far, so good, at least all of the pieces fit together right, which is a key point when making a pattern the first time. I hope the next steps go as well.

Still have a basket full of bears to put eyes on....MUST get to that this week, the sooner the better.

Time to go back to work!!

Friday, March 24, 2006

Its coming along.......

have spent some time working on the icon this week, finally got all of the blue done last night. I think the pattern of the rows of beads looks like the drape of the fabric....pretty cool and better than I thought it would be. Have done just one row of the background color mix around the figure, and it looks pretty good too! This is getting exciting! Can't wait to see what it will look like when I get it done!

The rest of today's blog is a message to all of my readers about how you need to take care of yourselves:

For the past month I have been spending much more time in hospital rooms than the studio because my dad has just had surgery for esophageal cancer. The surgeon removed half of his esophagus and 1/3 of his stomach on February 28. Three weeks plus later, he is still hospitalized and can not yet have anything by mouth. The good news is, his cancer was caught early and he will probably be ok after this long recovery from the surgery.

He had suffered from persistent heartburn for years. We used to tease him about getting heartburn from a glass a water....we're not laughing about that any more.

A recent article in our local paper explains that the heartburn is a major warning of this fast growing (in number of cases) and extremely deadly cancer. I have created a PDF file of that article and posted it on my website.

PLEASE! If you or someone you care about has persistent problems with heartburn, go get tested!! It could save your life. Because there seems to be a familial link, I'm going next month.

The link to the article is:

Thanks for your time reading this.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Now this is an odd bird!

And he is the 2nd of several entries I'm making to a contest. Spent a lot of time taking different pictures of him on different backgrounds. Fun!!

Making more progress on the Icon too, now have both sleeves done.

Need to spend time today working on those 20 eyeless, noseless, earless critters!

Sunday, March 19, 2006

on the Icon. Spent about 3 hours working on the sleeves of the looks so amazing. The pictures don't really show the sparkle of these wonderful glass beads.

Also spent some time the last 2 days taking some pictures of animals to submit to a magazine. This is an activity that I approach with ambivalence ..... I really want to get pictures of my pieces out, but this is a very time consuming and frustrating part of the process .... I just have to keep at it tho', certainly don't have the luxury of being able to pay someone else to do this for me.

Today I started putting the paint on the "ice flow" for the piece we've been working on for almost 2 months. This is the last part, since the animals are all finished and waiting for the ice to freeze (instead of melt?!)

Lots of paper work still to get finished, so I better get back at it!

Friday, March 17, 2006

earless, eyeless, noseless......

all twenty (yeah, 20!!) bears now jointed, stuffed and closed, awaiting in the basket for the next steps......we have here a large assortment that first need to have their faces shaved or plucked (OUCH!), then the nosing begins. This should keep me busy for a few days, but I probably will work on something else today.

Back to the work, have pictures that are due to a magazine soon, so I need to get them ready.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

New projects and old ones

Progress being made on lots of things!

The icon is coming along nicely, have the halos done and have begun the robes on the Madonna....the color blending is going well, learning lots of new things.

Did the set up for another piece of jewelry. The big stone is a ruby and zoitzite cab. I have also put in a 6 mm pearl at the top, and 4 natural cut rubies set in gold setting. Haven't quite decided what the beading pattern will be, but I'm thinking about it.

In spending a lot of time in hospitals I have finished the applique work on 2 more blocks of the quilt too. 1/4 of the way to finished!!

Time to get back to work!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Back to work.....

on the icon. Have finished the "frames" around both faces, and the halo around the baby. Now working on the halo around the madonna....its starting to look pretty good...have made some minor design changes as the beads go on, but so far, its pretty much as drawn.

Looking good!

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Remind me again.....

why we do craft shows!? Oh yeah, because its supposed to support my "habit" and help me buy more supplies to make more art. Its confession time......the show yesterday was awful from the "making money" point of view. "Sigh!"

The up side of this escapade was that lots of folks thought the last two pieces of work (Moonshine and Autumn Leaves) were wonderful. Well, the positive strokes are a good thing too.

We'll be doing the ugly work of a show later today: empting the car and putting away all the display equipment....ick! Oh well, this job is getting easier as we get a better feel for what we should and shouldn't take with us.

Note for next show: take the extension cords for the saves a trip to the hardware store at 7 am!! DUH!

This is not usually my place for ranting, but right now I'm feeling like I need to do just that. I realize that nurses in general are working hard and are probably being asked daily to handle more that they can, but after visiting my dad last night I want to just scream about it. The best thing to be said for ICU is that he had 2 nurses day and night that really knew what was happening with him and what was going on. This week since he's been out of ICU, he's had to have the feeding tube removed because they damaged it trying to use it improperly for medication; he's had to have a "pick" put in a vein in his arm so they can give him medication and he's had to INSIST that someone listen to him about the issues with the catheter. Sometimes I think the local Vets give better care to our pets than hospitals give their patients, especially the elderly ones!!! Ok, Rant over, but only for now, I'm sure I'll have another one later.

Its cold again this morning, but I noticed that one of my daffodils has a bloom about to open. A small reminder that winter WILL end, and spring will come...Thank God!

Off to do something constructive (or maybe even creative!)

Friday, March 10, 2006

On to the next project.....

One thing about the way I work on things.....there's always at least 6 more things to work on when one is finished.

Yesterday the little rubies (we're talking 2.5 mm here) got put into the gold settings (thank you to the DH!) and I got the sets glued onto the background. Later in the day I started working the beads around the faces.....looking good!

We've also cut out 3 new bears, and have them pinned....need to get them to the sewing machine.

Today we will be packing the car for tomorrow's show in Aurora....about my least favorite chore, but necessary for all the fun parts!

so it's off to work we go (high ho, high ho, high ho......etc.)

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Its done!

That's right folks, I finished a piece!! Got all of the neck band complete then attached all of the leaves last looks so cool. Only had one problem with the attaching part, one of the silver leaves split at the top so I couldn't use it, so instead of 5 silver leaves there are only 3....the even number looked strange, so I took off another one too.

Today I will be getting the DH to set some little tiny rubies in gold settings to attach to the icon piece then I can start beading that.

And of course there is still the kick line to get stuffed.

Also need to spend some time packing up the bears and jewelry for Saturday's show.

Wow, lots to do, better get busy!!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Progress (our most important product?)

A bit of work is actually getting done!

Spent Monday in Denver visiting with dad and trying to take care of vehicle issues for mom. Dad is doing better every day, he was able yesterday to walk out into the hall on his own (supervised, but under his own power!).

After several days of spring like weather its colder and we're supposed to get snow today. My daffodils have their little heads about 8 inches up out of the leaf pile that I put over them last fall, but they haven't begun to open them, so snow right now will be ok.....that way I may actually get to see them bloom instead of them being frozen.

In the studio I have been working on the neck band to hold all of the leaves I've been working on. The leaves in today's picture are made of .999 silver. This material is amazing. We begin with real leaves then layers of the silver clay paste are brushed on to the leaf and the whole thing goes into the kiln for firing. Cool stuff!!

Hoping today to get the band on and the leaves all attached, so I better get moving!

Monday, March 06, 2006

Its a kick line!

Wow, can't believe its been so long since I could get to this. Since the last post, I've spent way to much time in hospitals (and the seat of the car is getting very "familiar" too).

On Thursday afternoon we got a call from our daughter's friend that her doctor was going to put her out again to control a post tonsilectomy hemorrage in her throat....needless to say, we can say that if we needed to evaculate in 15 minutes for some reason, we now know we could....I grabbed our RX, a couple of personal items and the dog and out the door we went. Good news is, the hemorrage was quickly controlled and she got to come home that evening. We spent the night with her to make sure she was ok.

On Friday my dad had a very bad day after they changed his pain meds. It took most of the day to figure out what was happening and getting it under control. Good news on that front is that dad is now out of ICU (moved him on Sunday) and doing much better.

Along the way I have managed to get all of the joints in the 12 little bears. Isn't this a cute kick line? Still much to do on these, but it is progress.

This coming Saturday we will be doing a one day show at Smoky Hill High School in Aurora. I'll have to spend some time between now and then getting ready for that. I hope we do well, could use the extra $$ for all the gas we've been burning this month.

Today its off to Denver again to take care of a vehicle issue for my mom and dad, and I need to get some things done here before we leave, so its back to work!

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Back in the studio (temporarily)....

After spending all day yesterday at the hospital while my dad had surgery, we're back home this evening.

Dad is doing really well, tho' we know there will be hard days ahead. I'm glad we're able to be helpful to mom and let dad feel that things are under control on the home front.

Spent most of the afternoon getting things put away, organizing the chaos, going through 3 days of mail....

I'm real excited about a show that we have been accepted for (after applying three times before).....We will be going to Springfield, MO, for an art show on May 6 and 7. By all reports we've had from other artists, this is a very good show, better than the fall one which we have done pretty well at in the past.

Oh yes, we did spend some time trying to decide how to arrange all those leaves into the necklace (see picture). They look so nice together. We still have some silver leaves (made of Art Clay Silver) that need to be drilled so I can attach them to the necklace, I'm really looking forward to finishing this piece and moving on. Seems that's the usual way, as soon as the end of a project gets close I'm anxious to get it done and start on the next one. Guess its because the planning is sometimes more interesting than the execution.

While I was sitting in the waiting room yesterday I got two more blocks done on the Christmas quilts, and I got several inches of the sweater sleeves done in the car, so progress is being made on all fronts!

So, I'm now wandering off to try to get something else done tonight. Thank you to all who have sent messages for my dad, we really appreciate your support!!