Friday, December 28, 2012

Pillow Power!!!

FINISHED!!! My hands are protesting from all the hand work that was required with the ruffle because of the bulky velvet. And what in the world has happened to the thread that we buy nowadays? It used to be really strong, now it just tangles and snaps at the worst times. I fished around and found my upholstery thread and life was so much better. I really like the lace that I used on this pillow, it had a nice shine to it, made it look so much richer. I will make more of these pillows.....later.....when my hands have a chance to rest. Can't ruin the hands, have too many beads that must be put to use.  Next time I will pleat the velvet if I use it for a ruffle rather than gather it, maybe that will make it easier. Well, enough for tonight, work tomorrow and Monday, then I don't know for sure when I will work again. She always closes for 3-4 weeks in January to paint and re-arrange the Gallery. Oh good grief, that means INVENTORY!!! Ahhhhh wellllll, it will go quickly, I hope. 

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Mixing Mediums

So the Lovely Lady that I work for will be having a Birthday in the middle of January, and I have been working on a "Crazy Quilt" bed pillow for her. I think I'm pretty much done with embellishing the top, so today I made a slow run out to the Russian Fabric Store(we have lots of snow right now) to try and find just the right lace for the edging. I wasn't able to find exactly what I had in mind, but I will figure it out.(which is quite outstanding considering the tremendous amount of beautiful lace that they have out there, not to mention all the gorgeous fabrics.) Maybe make the ruffle out of one of the velvet colors and add lace into the ruffle. Hmmm, something to think on. She collects and also sells Antique Dolls, besides having the nicest Gallery in town. Since she collects mainly french dolls, I wanted the pillow top to look very Victorian. I think it does. The Victorian style was/is really over the top with a lot of frills, embellishments etc. I was going to use more color in the embellishments, but the white lace started calling the shots, and I decided to not add any more color on top, just leave it in the background. I used clear AB bugle beads and freshwater pearls. I cut flower medallions out of some of the beautiful lace that I purchased at the Russian store and appliqued them in each corner. Each corner is different. I haven't played with the crazy quilting for several years, but I do so enjoy it. I used a log-cabin type of square, with the transferred image for the slightly off-center, center. I added color to the picture with both watercolor and colored pencils. I chose this image because it reminded me of some of her beautiful dolls.  I then sprayed the image with fixative. I can't wait to see it finished..hope it ends up like the image I have in my mind.  Once done with this project I have another quilting project started that I planned on doing several years more procrastinating....we are not guaranteed tomorrow. Then it will be time to start the 2013 BJP. Making a list land checking it twice.....................

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Just a note to wish everyone out there a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year. Tomorrow is the 21st of December, and according to the Mayan Calendar, the end of the world as we know it. Well,we shall see. Hopefully the nutcases of the world will take a day off and not try to make this prediction come true. The loss of all those beautiful babies and their teachers last week has to be the worst thing to happen this year. My heart goes out to all those families, and to the Children that survived this nightmare, they will suffer for a long time to come, quietly perhaps, but Children always seem to keep way too much inside.  And may God bless and keep safe all those who are in harms way, attempting to keep us safe here at home. We won't be with our family again this year, but our hearts are certainly with them all. And to our Friends that are battling Cancer, my fervent prayer for them is that there will be a cure for each one of them. It seems to me that the Billions of dollars that have been raised to find a cure for Cancer, must have gone astray, because I haven't heard of a single cure so far. Of course if there was a cure it would put a lot of Pharmaceutical companies out of business, or perhaps slash their great profit margins all to heck! Thinking about it just makes me feel more depressed. Sweet Jesus please bring Peace and Tranquility to this world, and Health and Happiness to all. Wouldn't that be wonderful?
I don't know about anyone else, but I have plans for this coming year, participating in the Bead Journal Project for one thing, and who knows what other challenge will come my way. I was so happy to participate in the Traveling Bracelet Project that Sig Wynn-Evans began. I hope she finds all those Bracelets that are MIA. She certainly spread Good Will around the World.  Such a talented designer and beader.
Well World, keep on turning......if not, well, I hope we all get together on the "Other Side". I'm sure there will be peace and Tranquility there.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Moose Meadow

Serendipity thats what it is. I forgot to take down my watercolor (the Watercolor Society changes the "wall" every month) when I left work Monday and by golly it sold! Meant to be I guess.
I titled this one Moose Meadow. Glad it sold, although I really liked this one and thats usually a sign that it won't sell for sure.
I have finished the beaded piece "Carmen" that I was going to donate to a fundraiser for a friend CeCe, however she did not want us to do a fundraiser. CeCe underwent two surgeries for Cancer. She runs a small Cafe over by the old airport, but has been one of the major fundraisers for the community for many years. A very independant and outspoken Lady. CeCe and my husband have a unique relationship, they love to argue, and she is always threatening to 86 him out of her Cafe. They are too funny. At any rate, since she did not want us to raise funds for her, and I had already started the piece, I am giving it to her for Christmas. Seems only fair. I hope she will like it, I still have to put it in a shadowbox and then it will be done.
I have to run now, off to work, tonight I will go up to my workroom and look up the name of the person that did the original design. Later........

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Down Memory lane

Had a wonderful long talk with my middle Daughter this morning. We did a lot of laughing, talking, walking down memory lane together. We came to the conclusion that crazy as our family can be at times, compared to other families, we're pretty normal. You just have to love each one for who they are and not who you wish they were. There's really nothing you can do to change people to be what you envision them to be, and they are probably wishing you could be changed to their vision as well. So.....just accept and love.
I have completed the base on the Kachina, so he can now be packed away for shipping in a week or so. As I was finishing him up today I started thinking about the handbag that I beaded for this same Daughter, the design I came up with was bamboo, chinese coin and dragonfly. I loved how it came together, maybe I should make myself a small bag with a similar design, I really like it. The head and body are vintage beads out of my stash. I just love those vintage beads!!!!!
Oh well, now to finish up the rest of the gifts so they can be mailed  on time. A little warmer weather would be nice so I can work up in my Attic workroom, I went up there today for a few minutes but it was just too cold. It got up to a high of 9 degrees today, dry and cold. As much as I hate to say it, snow would warm things up a bit. Wishing everyone a good night, especially my friend Karen who is battling brain and lung cancer. Too many of my friends are battling this ugly disease, when will it ever stop?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Alaskan Eagle Kachina

FINISHED!!!!! With time to spare, and to look at him and maybe add to him or not.  I "finished" the Kachina this AM and sat him on my ironing board to take his picture and my worst nightmare came to be..he fell off on to the floor right on his beak!! I was horror struck and for a few moments all I could do was stand there and look at him lying face down on the floor. I finally made myself pick him up and HALLELUJAH!! He was just fine. What was I thinking by standing him on a soft surface?  Drove home the thought I had earlier that I might need to attach him to a wider base so that he wouldn't be so tippy. Another Blogger "A Half-baked Notion" suggested that I sew his wings (I whined about this on my blog, as you might have read), and that's what I did. I used two layers of ultra-suede, and I'm satisfied with how they turned out. Thanks Half-baked!!  My thoughts ran back to my Raven Dancer while I was staring at him(Kachina) laying on his face on the floor, remember? I had the Raven dancer all done and just had to attach his mask and when I did it snapped right in half! I ended up adding a wider base to him also.  I wonder, should I come up with a feather to put in each of his hands? The Kachina I mean. Hmmmmm....something to ponder on. Half-baked has asked for a side view of the Raven, so I am editing this post to include another picture or two.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Eagle Dancer

Well, I have been working on a Kachina Doll for my Daughter. My problem has been that I have no access to feathers, at least not the one's I have in my mind. I guess I will have to Google feathers and see what I can find. I have been to our local Mercantile store, but they have very little in the fishing section and the Gear Shed has no feathers at all. I have to make wings for him and I really don't want to make them out of clay like the ones I made for his top knot. I am afraid they wont travel pun intended.  I still have to make his sash and moccasins and add a broader base so he wont be tippy. Time is running out......... I used Raindeer beard for the fluff around his neck and in the top knot to make it fuller. He will be a true Alaskan Kachina.  Well, back to the workbench.........we have snow........enough said.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Still Beading

I have been busy, even though I have not posted. I agreed to do an Arts and Crafts Fair with a friend of mine, I don't know why.......the last time I participated in an A&C Fair was with my sister probably 30 years ago. Wow! Could that be right? Well, its been very painful I must say. I've made a few baby bonnets, small card cases which I know should sell,( I've made a lot of these),  beaded 8 Eskimo Angels and made necklaces out of them, made a few polar fleece hats and a few more baby bibs. I'm just at a loss as to what to make. The two or three gals that are sharing the space all do jewelry, so thats not an option as far as I'm concerned. Ah well, what ever sells sells what doesn't...goes to the Gallery next season. I also made a hair barrette for our Granddaughters Birthday which is tomorrow. I also made our Great Granddaughter a Raggedy Ann Doll for her Birthday which was November 1st. So, I have been busy, just not chatty.

Lorilye had a Costume Birthday party, thus the smudge on her nose. Not sure what her costume was, I think she was a puppy, thats just a guess on my part.
And I have also been doing some repair work, some for the Gallery and one for myself. I made this necklace about 15 years ago and wear it a lot, the thread finally gave way so I had to restring the necklace, this time I used wire. Well, that's it for now.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Time to Catch Up and Say Goodbye

Since last I wrote about the Traveling Bracelet, we've been busy. "Abi" has been to work with me, and today we went for coffee with two of my friends referred to here as the "Gallery Girls". Sometimes there's four or five of us sometimes not. Today it was just the three of us, catching up on what's been happening.  Sunday was a quiet day, we went to Church, and out to breakfast, which turned out to be the wrong move. I got up with a headache and the day went downhill from there. So Sunday was a very slow and quiet day. i don't mean it was the wrong move to go to Church, just going out to eat was the wrong move. But all is well today.
"Abi" went to work with me on Monday and visited with some of the beautiful artwork that we have in the Gallery. I thought this photo of "Abi" with one of the native art pieces was very appropriate, since the true name of the Bracelet is the Aboriginal Design. Its always such a wonder to me that when I study native art, how connected it is all around the world. So many similarities in artwork and myths and beliefs. It really is such a small world.

Here  "Abi" is visiting with the very talented Rowan who works at the Gallery. Besides being an artist in watercolors she is also extremely talented in the music field as well as dance. She has a group here called the "Shivering Gypsy's". Rowan is originally from upstate New York.

Today started out very frosty as you can see in the photo. I guess winter is going to come no matter how much I don't want it to. Well, off to coffee we go.

Here are my two friends "The Gallery Girls" at our favorite coffee spot, Two Sisters Bakery just steps away from the shores of Kachemak Bay. Some days we will come for coffee and have to wait in a line three deep. They make wonderful soups, veggi sandwiches and of course bakery goods. Even if you're not hungry when you go there, just step inside and oh my, the wonderful aromas just draw you in and you have to try one of their savory offerings.

Its been fun having "Abi" here this week, however its time to say good bye. Tomorrow I will be bundling  "Abi" up and mailing the package off to my Sister down in the lower 48. She lives in beautiful Newport, Oregon. Another coastal community for "Abi". She is really looking forward to receiving the bracelet and has more adventures to share with the Bracelet. I can't thank Sig enough for choosing me to host her Aborigianl Bracelet. I feel honored, and look forward to reading about Abi and the other Bracelets. Thanks for the Visit "Abi".

Friday, October 12, 2012

Lunch With Baby Arwyn and Mom

So lunch went well with the new baby, she is absolutely beautiful and slept the entire time we were there. She looked beautiful in the Bonnet and shoes, but then she's beautiful without them anyway. (The Tiny shoes I made were just a little big, but they looked cute on her.) Mommy Miriam looks just beautiful also. She waited just a little too long to call the Midwife, and Mom and Dad delivered the Baby Girl themselves. She said it was a little scarey, but what are you going to do, there's no stopping it once its underway. They both came through it just fine, and Dad stayed pretty cool through the whole event.
Miriam thought the story of the Bracelet was pretty cool. She is an amazing young woman, Hunter, Fisherwoman, Carver, and Jewelry maker. I have known Miriam since she was in High School. Very self assured and quite the businesswoman. She has her own small Gallery out on the Spit. It is only open full time in the summer, but she keeps it open on the weekends until Christmas, then re-opens mid-April. She sells her carvings, watercolors, and jewelry as well as her Husbands Ulu's and Knives. She also carries some Native made art .
Hubby was not feeling well today, so Abi's adventure today was pretty quiet once we came home, but everyone was pretty impressed with the Bracelet and the story behind it. to work, and Abi will go along. One more picture of beautiful little Arwyn and then its good night.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Change of Plans

So I had planned on going to the Bead store Wednesday, but received a call from Rowan at the Gallery to tell me that since we had missed out on the Baby Shower for a friend of ours, everyone decided to have a "Baby Lunch" on Friday, so up to the sewing room I scrambled to make a gift to take along. Abi went with me, poor thing, had to listen to me mumble and grumble until I decided to make a bonnet and a pair of tiny shoes. The Bonnet was no problem, I've made a lot of them, and love doing it. The tiny shoes on the other hand were a bit of a challenge, but I finally finished them after much agony. Can't wait to meet the little miss. I just love her "older" brother Griffin. He is just all boy and rules the roost at age 2.

So today I finally made it over to the Bead store for a visit with Gig and to show her the Bracelet, and of course pick up a few beads.

We had a few laughs, bought a few beads and then off we went to see if the Swans were at the head of the little lake that is behind our house. Can't waste the sunshine, its a rule, or maybe its a law.

The trees have grown up so that you can barely see the lake from this viewpoint. But .. no Swans. So off we went out to the Spit to enjoy the sunshine some more. Not much going on out there this time of year, you can actually find plenty of parking places...of course none of the shops are open, but who cares, we have sunshine to enjoy. Drove over to look at the Jack-up Rig that's causing so much controversy with some folks around town. It was brought in for repair work and was supposed to be gone by now, but rumor has it that it might be wintering here.

Back home, have to get out my paper supply and make a card to go along with the Baby gift.

Left Abi to rest on the lap of my "non-traditional" self-portrait. Off to lunch tomorrow!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

"Abi" Has Arrived!!

Today I received "Abi" in the mail. I was so excited to get this package from Sig Wynne-Evans. It was sort of by default when the person who was supposed to receive this bracelet was unable to fulfill the agreement of being host to one of Sig's Traveling Bracelets. I hope she will be able to host one of the other bracelets before their journey's are over. While recovering from a major surgery Sig decided to bead a bracelet and send it on to someone else with good positive thoughts and healing wishes, and maybe they too could re-inforce these positive energies with some of their own and pass it on again. She intended to make only one, but now has 12 Bracelets traveling the Globe spreading positive energy to all who receive  or have contact with them. She will be starting the journey of her 12th Bracelet, named Machu Picchu, in November in where else but Machu Picchu. How fun is that. I didn't mention that "Abi" is short for Aboriginal. "Abi" has a cute little "Joey" as the main figure in the design. Its just beautiful. And as fitting as Machu Picchu, ":Abi" has been to Australia as well as Colorado and California. I believe this is the first of the Traveling Bracelets to come to Alaska.
We started "Abi's" Alaska visit with a long walk on the beach of Kachemak Bay, a visit to the Seafarer's Memorial, and of course did a bit of "Shell Seeking". Tomorrow we plan to visit the Bead store and share some time with Gig. Each day will decide for itself what we do, but we will stay busy. You can visit the other bracelets and read of their travels on Sig's blog: http//

I took this photo of "Abi" on the old piling down from Mariner Park. I love walking the beach in this area, I always find great "Tiny Treasures" when I walk there.

The next stop was at the Seafarer's Memorial and then on to more beach walking. By then our little "Joey", (our step-dog) was starting to limp a little so we headed for home. Joey is getting along in years (aren't we all) and has arthritis in his hip. He loves to walk the beach with me, but I think it was a little to cool for him. The sun finally came out, but he was ready to head home by then. (Did you spot "Abi" in this photo?)

The "Tiny Treasures" from our walk. I even found a piece of sea glass. Must have been the good Karma coming from the Bracelet.

Home for a rest in the Bead Cabinet. I thought a fitting place to rest would be on my beaded shoe "Alaska Shores". What fun!!! Hope everyone everywhere had as fine a day as we had. (I am hoping for sunshine tomorrow). 

Friday, September 21, 2012


FINALLY!!!! After two weeks of beading, having a complete meltdown, chopping up the piece I had been working on all that time, I used the parts and pieces and finished the necklace that was going to be a collar, but turned too big and ugly. I am so happy that my Muse clubbed me down and made me re-think what I was doing. The center piece of this necklace is a piece of burnt wood from the forest fires in Colorado." In June 2012, Photographer Tim and Photo Stylist Lori were working just east of the fires in Fort Collins. They could see, smell and taste the smoke from the raging fires. Embracing the idea, when something bad happens we can make good of it, they got the idea to have artists utilize the charcoal and sell the artwork to raise money for the Volunteer Poudre Canyon Fire District." Their hope is that the artist will consider the land; it's people and how we are all connected.
My original piece was going to convey the idea that new life would soon emerge from the fire and ash, but as I was working on it, the piece became all about the fire, the hotspots and embers.  So in the end, after my "meltdown" my feeling was that beauty can be found everywhere and set about making something beautiful out of my disaster. I'm happy with the results, which is a good thing because I have to get it in the mail tomorrow to make the deadline. I am titling the piece "Embers".
I thought it was funny (sort of) that while I was working on the beaded piece, I was also working on the Burning Basket project here. I was "Consumed" with fire......ok, that was weak, but it was an odd coincidence, or rather serendipitous if you like. At any rate, after feeling that I had completely failed, I gathered myself up and got it done. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Burning

Well, after a one day delay, the basket finally burned tonight. We weren't certain that we would get our usual crowd of 100+ people, but they did come out after all. It threatened rain, but only a few drops fell, and the wind stayed at just a breeze. Another year done. Where does the time go? The Cranes will be leaving soon, one more sign of Winter. Rather a depressing thought, oh well, more time to bead I guess. Now that the Basket has burned, I can work full time on my AshesToArt project. I sure hope I finish in time, I have to mail it off by next Tuesday....BEAD BEAD BEAD!!! So much for now.......

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Another Beautiful Basket..will it Burn?

Well they are predicting wild winds for tonight and tomorrow. I had to work today, so I don't know what if any decision was made about burning the basket tomorrow. So far the wind hasn't been as bad as they said we should expect, but then its only midnight, so who knows when or if the winds will hit. We were supposed to have our last and final Cruise ship today, but because of the impending storm, they turned back. For some reason the cruise line decided earlier this year that they would no longer be coming to this part of Alaska. Their loss. Well, I will be going out to the Basket tomorrow morning to see what the plans are, of course, you can't know the weather for sure in advance, and the last storms passed us by, well, all but one last week, so we may be able to go ahead as planned...time will tell. I am including a photo of what the basket looked like today, it was taken by a young friend who has been taking some really great photos this summer. Maybe she should re-think her occupation. ( So Today is Sunday and the wind is howling, so the burning has been postponed until tomorrow. Weather permitting. I have to work tomorrow, but should get off and get out to the Spit just in time. We shall see.)

Thursday, September 13, 2012

"Inspire" Basket 2012

Its Burning Basket time again. The weather has been its usual self..nice, rain, wind, nice, etc etc etc. However, we have managed to catch up and its now going extremely well, thanks to a beautiful day today which brought out more helpers, so the work went very well. This year the basket is named "Inspire". I have heard that word used several times today, people saying that they are inspired to work harder at their individual art. I think that's what I love most about this project, every year I hear such interesting stories from the different folks who stop by to help. And you never know who is going to stop by......for instance today, a Tibetan Monk stopped by and wanted to help for awhile and also left his message behind. So his message is the first to be added this year. Well, why not...after all its Homer, the "Cosmic Hamlet By the Sea".
Homer is such a mix of people, you just have to come here and experience it for yourself to really understand what I mean by that. Hopefully tomorrow will be another nice day, but the weatherman is not predicting that exactly. And the burning is Sunday, which is supposed to be a really ugly day, ..... but we can hope. We are all trying to put a lot of good vibes out to the universe, so we shall see.....

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

More Sun Please!

Well, what can I say except that today was the most beautiful day we've had all summer. Yesterday was beautiful but windy, I had to work so I missed it, but today I was home and I soaked up as much sun as I possibly could. I sat outside all day, either beading or just sitting and enjoying the sun and the beautiful fireworks on the water. At least that's what the sun looked like on the water, it was just beautiful. I seemed to have used the word beautiful a lot, but nothing else can describe the day. And tomorrow is supposed to be great also, then back to rain. But we had today!!! I wish the picture I took of the sparkles on the water did justice to the beauty. They really looked like a sparkler you would burn on the fourth of July. I wish Jack would have been here to enjoy it with me, but he is still in Anchorage. I did get my laundry done today, so I didn't waste the whole day. Can't wait for more sunshine tomorrow, and yes, I will be outside enjoying it all day. I hope everyone had as beautiful a day as we had.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

This and That

So, what have I been doing? Well, I have stayed busy doing this and that....Our Grandson Isaac has been in OHSU in Portland for surgery on his bowel. What a tough little guy he is, and I am happy to say he is doing well. I talked to him this morning and he was having high hopes for Jello....I hope he realized his wish today. As soon as all is working well he will be able to go home. Keep him in your prayers. We also babysat our step-dog Joey for a few days, he really is a lot of company. We (Joey and I) had our walk on the beach which we both enjoy. Its kind of fun having company on my beach walk once in awhile. I took lots of pictures of the different patterns in the sand that the water makes..they are all so beautiful. And of course, I am busy beading for Christmas....scarey how quickly that comes around. Jack will be heading to Anchorage next weekend for training on the new Dialysis machine. He is not looking forward to switching, since all has been going so well with this one. Seems like they have to keep stirring the waters all the time. So, tomorrow my friend Karen V. is coming down to visit from Sterling. They have sold their beautiful home and are moving back to Washington state. Sandy and I went up and spent the day with Karen and helped her sort through all her bead stash, she will keep some and sell some. We had a great day, who could have a bad day sorting beads? I will miss her even though we only got to visit once in awhile, she always makes me laugh. Our friendship started when she took a bead class from me, and kept showing up at my door every time she came over on the ferry. What fun!