Sunday, December 20, 2009

12 Days of Christmas - Day 2

This one is titled: 2 Turtle Doves

For day 2 I drew 2 Turtle Doves and then colored in with watercolor. This particular piece is on 5x7 watercolor paper.

12 Days of Christmas

This one is titled: A Partridge in a Pear Tree.

Since the 25th is the start of the 12 Days of Christmas, so I've been told, I've been making either an ATC or regular piece of artwork and thought I would share them with you all.

This first one is an ATC I did using Acrylics. I, first, drew the image and then painted it using Acrylic paints, which is actually kind of a new thing for me.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Homemade Christmas Cards

I decided this year to make Christmas cards instead of buying a box from the store that I never seem to use all of them. So, with my daughter recovering from her surgery last week I stamped the images on watercolor paper and then we set out to color them using various types of watercolor.

This is the card my 7 yo made. After she watercolored the Santa, I used a scrapbooking door picture to make it look like Santa was behind the door.

I then adhered them to different cardstock, put them on different colored card paper, and used scrapbooking stickers to decorate. I also stamped the inside with my "Happy Holidays Season's Greetings" stamp.

I used craft glue on the Christmas trees and sprinkled with glitter to make it look like there are ornaments on them!

They turned out awesome and I thought I would just share them with the rest of you.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Red & Black Team Bracelet Custom Order

So, here is my first custom order for a team bracelet, just not with the original idea. I am making this custom bracelet for someone who has 2 favorite teams; one with black and red and one with black and gold. I am finding out how hard it can be to do custom orders without knowing what material you are going to be using except for the special furnace glass beads I purchased specifically for this order. With Sterling Silver chain and wire, this bracelet will probably be the more expensive of the two bracelets. I like it, I just feel it might need something "else"!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Dona Nobis Pacem

To find out more about "Grant Us Peace" and BlogBlast For Peace Day 2009 go here:

Peace Globes

Get your globe today! This is all happening today, November 5th, 2009.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Waste is Wonderful?

I'm reading my newest Colored Stone GemMail Newsletter and the very last article is called "INDUSTRIAL BY-PRODUCTS ARE FINDING A SECOND LIFE IN JEWELRY AS FACTORY WASTES ARE TRANSFORMED INTO ORNAMENTAL WONDERS." Wow, who would have thunk that years from long ago we'd actually be using the waste that the factories we complain about produce! We recycle and upcycle so much; is this really the message we should be sending to the next generation? Oh, don't worry about the waste our factory is producing; it will eventually be used to make something beautiful.

As soon as I read this article I thought about the movie Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome where they use pig waste to produce energy in a post-apocalyptic society. Is there what we have to look forward to? He who has the most waste that can be used for something ornamental wins!

Anyways, this led me to do a search on the subject and this is just some of what I found:

Turning Garbage Into Art & Music

Making Art of Industrial Scars.

Industrial Waste Teapot

It seems as though maybe this is something new. I know there are artists that scour the junk yard for items to include in their artwork, however, this is different. This is using the actual industrial waste from a factory to create art. While this sounds interesting, it also leads me to the following question:

"How safe is this using of industrial waste for art and/or jewelry?"

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Spring 2010 Fashion - Louis Vuitton

In reviewing some of the slideshows for the runway shows showing off the Spring 2010 fashions, I was surprised to see the big, round, "afro" style hair on the Louis Vuitton models. While I love his fashion, I think that using those kind of props totally took away from the outfits he was showing.

I tried really hard to focus on the outfits, however, the hair was just too distracting. Like this soft, pastel colored, and funky looking outfit was smashed with that big hair-do. Ugh! What are these designers thinking? Are they thinking at all? I don't understand why some designers think that bloating something like hair or accessories is going to make people "like" their designs. They should stick with emphasizing the outfit and not the other "stuff".

I know, have the models shave their heads, wear just enough makeup so we can see their features, and the tone down the accessories. A designer I enjoy watching is Alabama Chanin. Her fashion is simple yet elegant. I love the colors she uses and how simple the models are, which brings the focus to the outfits.

Also, what is up with not smiling? Models always look like they are in serious pain and like they really hate what they are wearing. It may just be a job, but if outfit isn't painful and the designer really believes in it, then the model should be smiling. Just my opinion.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Happy Birthday Susanna Boyd!

I so forgot how much fun working paper can be and until I started doing Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) did I remember how much I LOVE PAPER!

So, I entered a challenge that my Paper Craft Planet group was having to create a birthday card for one of the Supernovas that run the site. I had a blast and rekindle my love for doing paper projects. So, aside from the jewelry and art I do, now I have paper projects on the list.

If you like working with paper, you should definitely check out Paper Craft Planet! Hope to see you there. BTW, this is my page on Paper Craft Planet!

Leaves are Falling ATC 0008

I recently purchased a book from Jerry's Artarama on how to create artist trading cards (ATCs) and the different mediums and methods for doing so. The book is titled "artist Trading card workshop" by Bernie Berlin. This book is beautifully illustrated, has easy to understand directions with illustrations, and also provides a section on how to make ATC storage ideas.

This book has 128 pages with 250 full color illustrations. Bernie Berlin is a world renowned ATC artist and his ATCs are the rage among all types of creatives. Readers can peruse a spectrum of techniques such as collage, painting, metal working, stamping, and more for making these types of cards as well as albums for storing them. The book also has sections including Ultra-Cards, how-to for Collecting and swapping cards, as well as a gallery of ATCs done by Bernie Berlin and other ATC artists.

My "Leaves are Falling ATC 0008" was done using a technique from the book called "Painting on Paper Towel".

Materials Used:
Watercolor 90 lb Paper
Paper Towel
Scrapbook Paper
Modge Podge
Printed out saying

To keep up with my most recent ATCs you can visit me at Mixed Media Workshops or ATCs for All!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Hot Pink Flip Flops ATC 0007

I finally finished ATC #0007 tonight after working on it for 2 days. I am really happy with how it turned out and will be posting it for trading soon.

The following Method(s) & Media(s) were used:
90 lb. Watercolor paper
Watercolor Pencils
Permanent Markers
Soda Can Tin (Embossed over Rubber Stamp Image)
Acrylic Paint
Finish Spray

International Artist Day!

October 25th is International Artist Day! Have you thought about it? If so, what will you be doing to celebrate it? If not, would you like to know how you can promote and celebrate this holiday? The official International Artist Day website has some suggestions for those that would like to promote this holiday and also some special information regarding the holiday.

Did you know that October 25th is the birthday of, none other than, Picasso?

The following suggestion have been made as a way for artists all over the globe to come together and celebrate a very special day. Stand up and be heard with some of the following to-dos:

"1.Have the Mayor of your city proclaim this day, October 25th, as International Artist Day every year. The mayor has the right to make proclamations. So a council vote is not needed. For an example of a Proclamation click into this link:

2.For a visual exposure have your local media film an interview and do an article about the Artist(s) in your area.

3.Have businesses sponsor an Artist by purchasing a painting for their lobby, or hosting a show.

4.Treat your favorite Artist to lunch or dinner.

5.With so much up and coming new talent out there, why not help sponsor an emerging artist, through a weekend workshop or fundraiser.

6.Advertise International Artist Day by downloading our logo and using it to print posters or invitations for events.

7.As a gallery owner, host an Open House with as many of your represented Artists in attendance.

8.As an individual art lover, throw a house party featuring your Artist friend(s) and their artwork, of course!

9.Host an “Art Auction” in a restaurant with a guest speaker to talk about art appreciation, art history (briefly) and the importance art plays in our society. Charge per plate. This money can be used to help sponsor new talent in the schools.

10.Send International Artist Day greeting/post cards to all your supporters to show your appreciation and thank them for honoring Artists and supporting the arts.

11.If you have any type of website, add the International Artist Day link and feature a different artist of the month, every month with a short biography.

12.Most of us drive so why not have some magnetic decals or bumper stickers made to promote International Artist Day to display on your vehicle. This would help the awareness to develop. Please visit the gift store, click on the next tab." (International Artist Day, 2009)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

My October ATCs Video

I am not really sure why I love Animoto videos, but I do. Here are the Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) that I have created for trade so far in the Month of October.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Help Publish Poorcraft!

ATC Swappers of MMW - October

This month in the ATC (Art Trading Cards) Swappers on Mixed Media Workshops we had the theme of Kamasutra! I know, I know, this sounds like something x-rated, but really it was quite interesting. The person that I got paired with is a truly talented artist whose submitted piece for the theme had only to do with the colors often often related to the idea of Kamasutra. The other cool thing is she uses "nail polish" and her work is amazing.

So, I decided to do a female in a sitting position and used glitter to semi cover the parts that I didn't want showing so it wouldn't be truly x-rated. It turned out really cool and I used Modge Podge to seal it so that the glitter wouldn't fall off.

This is the second ATC I am sending my swapping partner. It is titled "Saisons Changeantes" (French for Changing Seasons).

I am really excited to be a part of this group and I can't wait to do something for this next month's swap.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

What is Happening to Handmade?

I was just over in some of my Etsy team social networks and it was kind of like walking through an empty house. Membership has plummeted and discussions are at an all time low. Is this due to the recession we are in (you know we aren't out of the water yet) or are people just loosing interest in all things handmade?

Even though I sell jewelry, which is usually the first thing people stop buying when they have no money, I still refuse to give up. I will make, market, and keep on making, no matter what and other people who make handmade should do the same.

I have currently started delving back into my artistic skills with water coloring, drawing (showing is my "Wanna Iguana" drawing), and making dolls once again and am hoping that will help boost my web presence again. I am also going to be once again writing articles here on my blog, so keep an eye out for the new and exciting here!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Office Musical Video

Ok, I LOVE the TV show The Office and here is a cleverly put together musical video that I just had to share with more people:

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Mixed Media Workshops - Monthly Challenges

For those of you who love art or are an artists this is the place for you. Mixed Media Workshops is not just your average social network. We have workshops that are free and those that aren't with very talented fellow artists as instructors.

Every month we have a monthly challenge and encourage other artists to join. There is no judgement just honest and good fun. We have a very family friendly environment and welcome all ages and walks of life.

Check out the Monthly Challenge group for more information about this month's challenge.

Monthly Challenge Group

Thursday, October 1, 2009

September Art Challenge

I would like to take a moment to mention the current September Art Challenge that my Ning group "Mixed Media Workshops" is having and encourage everyone to check it out. This is a group of extremely talented individuals from all over the world that work in various types of mediums.

The wonderful thing about this group is that the talent ranges from beginners to advanced artists and there is nothing but support for each other. The challenge this month consists of 3 categories: 3D Art, Computer Manipulated, and Organic/Flat Art.

If you are an artist or have a burning desire to be one, then this is the place for you.

September Art Challenge

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Living in Podunk, I mean Hell!

We have now lived in Miami, OK for 3 months and nothing has changed our minds about wanting to live here. We are still looking for work and with over 40 applications submitted and over 6 job interviews I am nowhere even close to landing a job. One of the interviews I went on make me look at getting a job here with a whole new perspective; The interviewer said "there are plenty of jobs here just not any careers." So, what the heck are we doing here?

I've been told on several occasions by "locals" that this is a great place to raise kids and I can see that with how the school system is structured. Is that enough? I am starting to think that it isn't.

In our neighborhood alone there are approximately 17 registered sex offenders, which in itself makes us uncomfortable and it does not help when the neighbor across the street tells your 6 year old that he has a "girl" bike in his garage. He did not actually invite her but this makes us queasy none-the-less. Was he just being his normal pervert self? Did this mean intention? How do I keep her safe? This neighbor came to be known as pervert long before this incident and this did not help.

Then there is jerk face across the street who took it upon himself to call my 6 year old over and intergate her. He had found a "pad" that goes on a boys bike and wanted to know if it was hers. Duh, her bike is red not black and brand new, so NO it does not belong to her. Then he proceeds to ask her if she has been in his back yard bothering his dogs. She said that she had once to visit them, not bother them, and then went into reading her the riot act. My neighbor saw this and also saw her ride her bike into our backyard looking absolutely terrified. This slug had no right to do that and I have been sitting on my front porch waiting for his return from whatever job he has that takes him away from home for up to a week. How dare he address my daughter like that. I believe that if someone has an issue with a child they should take it up with the parents.

To top it all off; a double and huge sized tree trunk fell from the tree in the backyard taking down our utility lines. The Miami utility company was here within minutes to attach the electrical line back to the house, however, the landlord did not find it an emergency to remove the tree.

I am originally from California and have lived off-and-on in Colorado for most of my life. Arriving here was like arriving in a town stuck in a previous century. There is nothing to do but the bowling alley, Casinos, bars, and Wal-Mart. I'm too afraid to take my kids to the main park for the perverts that are supposed to inhabit it and I cannot stand the laid back and nonchalant attitude that floats around here from people. There is a very dangerous thought process around here that goes something like this: "It could never happen here." Talk about a town full of idiots.

I have so much more to say on this subject so I will save some for later. By-the-way, podunk is between a one-horse-town and a village!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Good Deed or Greed?

So, I was out shopping, ok browsing, at Wally World and happen to be in the bead section just looking to see what is out there. There was an elderly lady looking as well right in front of where I wanted to be. I patiently waited and then decided not to be rude and I asked her if she did beading. She said a little and we started to talk.

Well, come to find out that she is back here for a few more months, just had a lump removed, wasn't sure if it was a good idea to buy a foam top for a 20 year old mattress, and didn't know how to use her Toshiba laptop computer. At the time I really wasn't thinking of making any money helping her out, but I have done things for people in the past on an hourly, really cheap, basis and really wanted to help her out.

I gave her my fee break down and contact information and am now waiting to hear from her. She is all alone here and I feel bad that she should have to take crap from the cell phone company she has and etc. I told her that I could help teach her how to use the laptop, clean behind her couch, set up the foam top on the mattress, call the cell phone company and see about the charges she was being charged for some guy's phone calls that she doesn't even know.

Just to be clear here she asked me how much I would charge and things went from there. I feel like I am doing a good deed but also don't want to seem greedy. I offered her references and she told me that she didn't need them; she likes my face! Is it greedy to do something like this for a fee? Is it also considered a good deed? Or are the two really separate ideas? I love helping others, but I don't have a job right now and could really use the money.

We'll see she may not even call, but I feel good about offering to help her and I'm hoping that is enough!

Friday, August 28, 2009

A Giveaway from Beccas Bead Creations

I'm not one to promote other Etsy sellers unless I am familiar with them, however, this is an amazing opportunity to win a "FREE" Cabochon Bracelet from Becca's Bead Creations. I found this giveaway through the Making Lemonade blog and the bracelet caught my eye. I love the color and how well it goes with silver.

Becca's Bead Creations has some other beautifully designed and handmade pendants as well as gemstone necklaces.

You can find details for the giveaway at Making Lemonade as well as check out the bracelet that is being given away.

I truly believe in supporting fellow handmade designers, artists, beaders, and crafters. What a wonderful way to not only support them but to give someone something that is unique and well handcrafted.

Good luck to whoever wins, but I do hope it is me!!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Feelings, Nothing More Then Feelings!

I went on a job interview yesterday and was amazed at the parting words of the interviewer, she said something like this: “I do not care about anyone’s feelings, I will not take you out for a glass of wine, so, if you start working here don’t come to work with any feelings.” Wow, where have I heard that before? Let me take you back a number of years before my Communication Skills Class for Women. I worked for a General Contractor with the title Office Manager/Contract Administrator in a little office in southeastern Colorado. Sure I had worked all my life but not until that moment had I been put in a position of authority that would allow my inner “bitch” to go romping about. Let me just say this “I do not believe there is any position, job, or duty that can truly be successful by being a “bitch”, so, don’t be one.”

Let me get back to the Office Manager position for a minute. You may ask “how was I a bitch?” Well, here is the breakdown:

1) I didn’t care about your feelings; I told it like it was. If your feelings got hurt that was your problem.
2) I didn’t care that you were human and had problems. You should be perfect and have no problems whatsoever.
3) I kept my office door closed, head down, and blinds pulled.
4) I didn’t have time for questions or small chit-chat.
5) What I’m doing is way more important than anything you have to say or ask.

As Office Manager it was also my duty to assist the Vice President of this particular office and he became a dear friend to me. He told me that he knew I was a type A personality but that I really needed to work on how I managed and communicated with others. Ok, I said, let me check into that. I used to get seminar brochures all the time and found one that peaked my interest about “Communication Skills for Women”. I showed it to my boss and he approved me taking the seminar. Let me tell you, I learned a number of useful tips, tricks, rules, and phrases that would stick with me right up until this moment.

The course I took taught me influence and persuasion techniques that I could use to build productive and rewarding relationships with those I work with and in my personal life. It’s no secret that I did not have these much needed skills, however, after I learned them and applied them I could accomplish so much more.

Probably the most important thing I learned was how to control my emotions while staying composed so that I could totally be effective while under pressure. This was definitely the most difficult thing I learned in the seminar I took. Why? Well, since women think with more of their brain than do men, it only stands to reason that we are also much more “sensitive” then they are. That was me, throwing fits, crying over spilt milk or any milk really, and not understanding how everyone else didn’t think that what I said or thought was important to listen to and there were rules that needed to be obeyed and procedures that needed to be followed. That last one is still hard for me; Don’t you know that if you follow the policies and procedures your life will be much easier?

Anyways, I still don’t like voicing my thoughts or offering my opinions. Yes, you can go the total opposite. I’ve had to overcome the “if my thoughts and opinions don’t matter; why should I say anything at all?” That’s not the point, the point is that you do it in a way that is incognito. I’m sure everyone’s grandmother told the something to the affect of “If you let a man think it is his idea, he doesn’t get mad, and you are the better person for doing so, even though it was your idea.” Men definitely need their egos stroked but I’m still not sure why we care as women. Ok, I’m getting side tracked, back to the topic at hand.

I don’t mind public speaking now and I actually enjoy talking with others. I love to go to a park and watch people and I’ll even sit down next to someone to see how they are doing or just to start a conversation. The “old” me would have never taken the time to care or to listen. Everything was about me! I had a job to do, I didn’t have time to talk or play around, I would spend an ungodly number of hours working to get something done because someone else said they needed it right away, and I couldn’t let others see me as weak.

I went back to the office with the tools I needed to be successful with others. I opened my door and blind, hung a wall quilt that my mom made on my office wall, put out a bowl of candy and started doing what I had learned. It worked and I felt better about myself.

I’m still not perfect, but I make much more of an effort on a job then I used to of being the nice person. I remind myself constantly that I am only human, no employer is worth killing myself over, and there are 168 hours in a week 56 to 80 of those are sleeping and only 40 to 50 of those could be spent at a job. With those numbers I also realize if I take the number of hours I sleep out it leaves me 112 hours a week. This is approximately 16 hours a day to either work or stay at home and take care of business here. If I work 8 to 10 hours a day that leaves me approximately 6 to 8 hours to do “at home” stuff. I’m not sure about you, but I am not happy with the liberated woman and the fact that those of us who wouldn’t mind staying at home now have to figure out our days like this.

What does all this mean? It means that instead of taking care of business at home, I know have to go work for someone else that has no communication skills, can’t handle high-stake situations because they don’t know how to, or makes mistakes and crises without confidence. My job interview yesterday was maybe 5 minutes and I could have answered her “confident” statement with “I hope that goes both ways or I used to be a bitch like you”, but I’ve learned not to say things like that and walked away giggling that there are others like that and I have chosen not to be that way.

You may ask, “So, what did you learn?” There were five key points that I needed to learn, which were recognizing words, gestures, and speech patterns I was using that were not allowing me to have any power in any situation and eliminating these, essential communication techniques that allowed me to be able to have positive responses from others that were predictable, which wouldn’t upset me because I knew what to expect, getting others to like, respect, and support me, being able to perform confidently in tough situations including negotiating, conflicts, important meetings, and crises that could come up from time to time. The most important of these was learning to LISTENI as those of us Type A personalities know, we do not do this very well at all. If there is anything I learned about communicating it is this or maybe that, I get confused. Is it my job to understand what you are saying or is it your job to make what you are saying clear? This is where, in my personal opinion, we get stuck thus leading to being a not-so-nice person. We are intelligent and hard workers that just want to be heard and understood.

My advice is this: “You are the important one; no employer is worth being emotionless, and that the old saying about attracting more flies with honey has obviously been proven so you should consider it!”

Monday, August 24, 2009

My Blog Interview with Beadwright

In case you didn't see the interview with Beadwright or just simply missed it for whatever reason. I thought I would post it here for you to read in hopes that it gives you a better insight into who I am.

A little something about me:

I was born on September 13, 1969 in an El Centro, CA hospital on a day of 120 degrees at 1:51 p.m. Why all the detailed information about my birth? Well, this information helps to explain who I am and why I have become the person I am today. I am ingenious, sharp, discerning, crafty, and can be diplomatic. I am to the point and subtle when speaking, I have been known to be a real diplomat. I have weaknesses like everyone else including being petty and sometimes over-critical. I have an insane attention to detail, which can often lead me to be nit-picky and fussy.

I have big ideas; I will evaluate and weigh things up before making a decision about anything. I have good judgment and can express myself clearly. Before coming to an opinion on any subject, I listen to the opinions offered by others and can compare them before making up my own mind. I can sometimes be happy-go-lucky or just-along-for-the-ride.

I really try to be sincere by showing frank and warm affections. I can be full of tenderness and I like to live and satisfy my need for intensity to the fullest. I will protect and make friends with people from all types of backgrounds. My strong sense of right-and-wrong allows me to fight against principles, society, or a philosophy that I feel is negative. I am a reasoning person with the ability to explain things, be logical and can debate. I have a revolutionary spirit.

I have a sweet, attractive and sunny disposition. I believe in justice, which I trust wholeheartedly. I am a well-developed artistic person that is able to investigate just about anything by asking a lot of questions or by doing extensive research. I do not consider myself shy but I do have anxiety issues with large crowds of people.

I have a great memory, or used to anyways and consider myself quite intelligent, imaginative, vivacious; continually developing throughout my life. I believe in being frank, honest, optimistic and generous. I love to cook and the friendships I currently have are dear to me. I try to be a grounded person and I consider myself to have the "gift of the gab". I love literature; any literature.

I have a “bucket” list and so far have completed some of what is on it. I hope to be able to live up to being a strong individual and even in my current setbacks, I know I can pick myself up, dust myself off, and continue going forward. I love my ability to look at something and tell what is going on at a glance. My hunger for knowledge can be overwhelming to me, which can often lead to my over organizing everything. I am an independent person who enjoys my freedom and quiet time.

I love designing and creating, but I think I love buying supplies and other items even more. I think I am just a shopper at heart with BIG ideas. I have so many ideas swimming in my head that half of them drown before I can get to them. I found out recently that I like numbers very little and that I LOVE the arts, every area and aspect.

The first thing I remember beading was with the plastic beads my daughters use today. I was probably around 8 at the time I joined the Brownies. We used to do all kinds of crafts and my favorites were always the ones that had to do with stringing something on string. At a camp I went to I made this really cool necklace with dried alphabet soup, plastic beads, and a round piece of wood, which we painted and decorated. My true love for beading came to me about 10 years ago when I lived in Durango, CO and started going to Pow Wows with my Sister-In-Law who happens to be Navajo. I couldn’t get enough of the little beads that were referred to as seed beads. I just kept buying them not really caring about what I was supposed to actually do with them. Then my sister-in-law introduced me to her sister who did beadwork for the family on ceremonial outfits and the like. She taught me how to bead using the Navajo techniques that she learned from her mom. Let me just say, I have a true understanding and respect for how difficult beading can be. That sparked my love for it and the rest is, as they say, “history”.

My passion for crafting is something that no matter where I am or how bad my life is, I can trust to always be there. I can sew, do beading, and I absolutely love photography. Although, I am learning that you just can’t go out and snap a picture, you really have to know what you are doing! :0)

My husband is the most supportive in my endeavors to be a stay-at-home crafter. He just wishes I could actually make a full-time living at it.

You have great color sense how or what leads you to color coordination in your art? I use a color wheel or I simply look at whatever it is I am doing and decide what color(s) I think would go with it. I use the color theory for my pieces, sometimes. Mostly I like to just roll with ever comes up that needs to be created. My inspiration comes from everywhere and nowhere.

You can find my work mainly on Etsy, but I hope to have my website up and functional to my standards before school starts next month. I have been Etsy so long, it really is hard to pull away from it.

When I first purchased Nicole's BeadBacking and FlatWork book, I honestly had no idea what I was going to do with it. I just had to have it though. Before we moved from Colorado to Oklahoma, I purchased the instructions for making those Scrabble tile pendants that everyone else is making on Etsy but didn’t have the money to actually go out and buy any Scrabble replacement tiles. I just kept thinking I don’t want to do what everyone else is doing. Then, I remembered Nicole’s book and bead backing. I frantically looked for both after I made the 1” wood disk pendants. So, there it was in easy to understand instructions with awesome pictures. After going around the pendant with the “contemporary” flatwork beading technique, I then decided that I wanted to use flatwork beading to hold the pendant down to the bead backing. This is where the “Fancy Bolo Tie” instructions for “shelving” came in handy. The pendants turned out absolutely amazing and I couldn’t wait to let Nicole know about how I used the supplies and book I purchased to achieve this beautiful look around my pendants.

I have to admit, at first, I was totally intimidated by the book. My instinct for acquiring knowledge and my ability to sit and go one-step-at-a-time kicked in and I believe, no I know, I have found my next beading passion.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Hummingbird Sillouette, Butterflies, and Spider

I took this photo of a hummingbird tonight at my in-laws house. I am currently addicted to trying to capture their photo on my 35mm digital camera. I have also tried with my up to 200mm camera. If you have ever tried to capture a hummingbird on camera you know that they are quick, never sit still, and extremely hard to photograph.

Out of 100 shots I can honestly say that maybe 5 of them are focused and clear. I was excited when I caught this shot because:

1) The hummingbird was sitting still and...
2) What a cool sillouette shot.

I have also caught on camera this week the amazing black swallowtail butterfly:

Red Admiral Butterfly:

and a very intimidating looking St. Andrews Cross spider:

I love nature and have been away too long. I am loving this new found freedom to really getting back into it.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

This is Home Project

I recently viewed an RSS feed in my Outlook that said someone was working on a This is Home Project. Curious as to what this entailed I immediately went to the blog and read what others were saying about "home".

I recently lost my house due to foreclosure as my husband and I lost our jobs in October and December of last year. While the bill collecting hounds are hot on our heels; it isn't what matters. What matters is my family and I are still together. I have my husband and kids and have moved to this place called Miami, OK or what I like to refer to as "stuck in time". While I sit and complain about all the things that irritate me about this place I know what is most important is that I haven't lost my family or that single 1/16th piece of hope.

It's the little things, it really is, in life that make wherever you live a home. I submitted my phrase and you should too.

This is Home Project!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Am I an Artist or a Crafter; Is that Art or a Craft?

So the age long discussion on art versus craft is still going. I know this because I recently posted the question "Is there a difference between an artist and a craft person?" I was truly amazed to find out how people felt about the two and what others' reasoning was for how they answered the question. The following is what I posted for my latest response to what has been written so far:

"In the MacMillan Webster's Thesaurus Third Edition copyright © 1997 the following words are listed:

"1.[Skill or creative Power] - Syn. skill, craft, technique, artistry, craftsmanship, artisanship, trade, creativity, skillfulness, expertise, faculty, talent, knack, flair, ingenuity, inventiveness, imagination, adroitness, artifice, cunning, craftiness, artfulness, wiliness, finesse, facility, mastery, virtuosity, know-how.
2. [The study and creation of beauty]...
3. [The product of art, sense 2]...
4. [The study of humanities; plural]..." (Laird, 1997)

After all the words listed for Art there is a paragraph that states:

"SYN. - art, the word of widest application in this group, denotes in its broadest sense merely the abililty to make or do something [the art of making friends], but in narrower sense implies making or doing that displays creativity and unusual perception; skill implies expertness or great proficiency in doing something; artifice implies skill used as a means of trickery or deception; craft implies ingenuity in execution, sometimes even suggesting trickery or deception; in another sense, craft is distinguished from art in its application to a lesser skill involving little or no creative thought." (Laird, 1997)

For the word "artist" the first two sections state for the definition:

"1. [A creative worker in the fine arts]... and
2. [A highly skilled workman]..." (Laird, 1997)

In conclusion and in my opinion we are a little bit of artist and a little bit of crafters. We are artists in that we all have or have developed various types of talent and application with what we do and it is in the eyes of the beholder to interpret what we have done. We are crafters that have learned a skill or talent and are using it to create something wonderful.

When I originally started this discussion it was my true intention to find out what others thought about the two. After reading all of the very insightful responses, I know now that it isn't about what you call yourself, but how one feels about their work on an individual basis.

This has been one of the more interesting discussions I have ever started or followed. Thank you to all who have made this topic a little more understandable.


Here are some interesting thoughts by others outside this group:
Pixelated Image
On Art(s) And Craft(s)

Wiki Answers
What is the difference between art and craft?

Denis Dutton
The Difference Between Art and Craft

Tangle Crafts
The difference between art and craft

I'm sure there are more articles out there, but I just wanted to list a few for now."

Since I am not the first to bring up this question I feel relieved in knowing that I am no different than others and we are all artists and crafters in our own accord.

Laird, C. G. (1997). Webster's New World Thesaurus (Third ed.). (M. Agnes, Ed.) Cleveland: Simon & Schuster, Inc.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

How I See You!

Me and my 2 daughters sat on the floor in a triangle and then proceeded to draw each other. Molly, Sierra's cat got her portrait done since she decided to walk in between all of us. Sierra did not like how her portraits turned out, except for Molly's. She has decided to stick with just drawing wolves.

Find more photos like this on Mixed Media Workshops

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Diary 2010 Project

Make sure to support handmade and buy next year's 2010 Diary made by artists and crafters from all over. Each page of this diary is designed by a different artist/crafter around the world.

Help support artists and crafters worldwide.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Photo Manipulation Lesson 1

I am taking a photo manipulation class online in one of my social networks. I am really enjoying it and it is being taught by a 13 year old from the United Kingdom. She is seriously talented and the nicest person. She also happens to be a very kind and patient teacher. Here are a couple of the images I have done using the layers, erase, and merge functions in Gimp 2.

This is the photo we used for the class. There are 3 layers here: horse, landscape, and transparent.

This is a photo of a House Sparrow I took where I live. There are 2 layers here: house sparrow and background.

This is an image I drew titled "Self Portrait". There are 3 layers here: my drawing, text, and background.

This is an image I took of one of my pieces of jewelry. There are 6 layers here: my jewelry image, (2) flowers, flip flops, glitter sun, and background.

My Sierra in Blue!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Mod Fashion & Carnaby Street

In looking back at a question I asked on a “Beading” discussion board, I was directed to an article relating to Mod fashion on Wikipedia. Since I rarely take what is written on Wikipedia as “true”, I decided to follow the links at the bottom of the article to get a closer look at what “Mod” really meant. In doing so, I was directed to the website Carnaby London.

I was amazed to learn that Carnaby Street, historically, was originally built in 1683 and over the years became known as “the swinging city”. Carnaby Street is just a hop-skip-and-a-jump from Oxford Circus and Piccadilly Circus in London and a rich history of fashion, music, and is all about being unique and independent. Carnaby, a one-of-a-kind approach, is considered home to some high end international “flagship” stores and exclusive independents. There are no cars on Carnaby Street, like China Town in San Francisco, but is more of a place for that person on foot that wants to stroll visiting an array of shops offering just about anything. Located in London, United Kingdom, in the Soho district, near Oxford Street and Regent Street, Carnaby Street’s name was originally derived from Karnaby House, which is located to its east and was erected in 1683.

How does this relate to the wonderful world of Mod fashion? “In the 60s, when little villages could be found in every region, the Time magazine article called London "the swinging city.” (TIME, 1966) What the Time article actually said about Carnaby Street was “From Carnaby Street, the new, way-out fashion in young men's clothes is spreading around the globe, and so are the hairdos, the hairdon'ts and the sound of beat; in Czechoslovakia alone, there are 500 beat groups, all with English names.” (TIME, 1966) The 50s, 60s, 70s, and 80s fashion, and 60s Mods were said to be influenced by designers on Carnaby Street. While the days of the “groovy” shops may have changed, Carnaby Street still offers shoppers a wide array of selections from the weird to the brilliant and has, once again, become the source for cutting edge fashion. The Carnaby Street reliant of “Swinging London” took North American by storm and helped to increase its international awareness after the April 15, 1966 publication of Time magazine's cover and article that celebrated Carnaby’s role: “Perhaps nothing illustrates the new swinging London better than narrow, three-block-long Carnaby Street, which is crammed with a cluster of the 'gear' boutiques where the girls and boys buy each other clothing.”

Carnaby Street became home to independent fashion boutiques and designers such as Mary Quant, Marion Foale and Sally Tuffin, Lord John, Take Six, and Irvine Sellars. All were located in Carnaby Street along with various underground music bars such as the Roaring Twenties. The Carnaby Street boom and origin was also home to a few canny “Soho” tailors, which helped the trends that were rising to be better understood.

Sherry’s, which sells 60’s accessories, womenswear, and menswear, was established in 1979 and has a more authentic feel than some of the larger chains on Carnaby Street. Mary Quant called Carnaby Street home back in the 60's at the same time that The Beatles and The Rolling Stones were frequently spotted among the ultra stylish large crowds. This is during the time when Carnaby Street was labeled the epicenter for worldwide coolness.

John Stephen was a Glaswegian clothes designer who had several shops on London's Carnaby Street. According to the plaque on one of Carnaby Street’s buildings: “John Stephen was founder of Carnaby Street as World Centre for Men’s fashion in the 1960’s.” His men's shop became known as a focal point for the London mods. In 1959, John moved to Carnaby Street and set up the first men’s clothing shop, after a fire had claimed his original shop.

There was a musical based on Carnaby Street during the 1960s called Carnaby Street the Musical, which followed the tale of The Who, the Spencer David Group, The Moody Blues and The Yardbirds. The Marquee was where these musicians played just before their careers began to take off. The musical includes not just music but also some of the fashion that became popular back in the 60s. The story concentrates on Jack Flash, who is said to have been the “man-about-town” who helps Jude to get into the band “Wild Thing”.

Carnaby Street has staked a claim on fashion’s frontier since the 1960’s and continues today to be at the heart of eclectic fashion and design. So, where do the Mods come into play here? Well, in the 1960s it was said to be the Mods that made the Mod style popular and then became closely associated with the Swinging Sixties. This is when many independent music shops, fashion boutiques, and designers such as Mary Quant were located there. Although Carnaby Street's time as a fashion centre was limited; Carnaby Street is still popular today amongst shoppers and sellers alike. Carnaby Street is included in a song by The Jam called "Carnaby Street", which was written by bassist Bruce Foxton.

The area surrounding Carnaby Street has seen a number of changes in the last few years, especially at the southern end, including new stores, a passage that goes through to Kingly Court. There are three floors of one-off 'concept' shops and studios hosting items that are not sold anywhere else in London. There are shops and cafes and no-car intersections; where one can purchase clothes from Diesel jeans to antique hippie wear. All of this within “bag-swinging distance of London's top 5 shopping spots for women at Oxford Circus” and today Carnaby Street is more of a tourist attraction. While Carnaby Street may not be as cutting-edge as it used to be, that’s not exactly what it is striving for today.

There was a significant amount of rebuilding that happened between 1820 and 1825, after the Carnaby Market was closed, which is when most of the property was purchased by a Lord Craven. 5 and 6 Carnaby Street was demolished and houses were erected in the 1720's, which were of some interest. When Lord Craven began building his pestilential disease house in the 1730's, the street was extended eastward, which later became known as South Row because the houses on its south side also formed the south side of Carnaby Market.

Does anyone actually go to Carnaby Street today? Sure, for those that don’t mind the lines for dressing rooms and cash registers; the village like atmosphere of pedestrian-only Carnaby Street is the perfect flipside. With over 100 shops, bars and restaurants in and around Carnaby Street there is something for anyone looking for that unique look and experience.

Friday, July 31, 2009

My Crystal In Paink

500 Characters or Less?

We have all had to do it at some point in our life whether personally or professionally. After doing the blog interview with Beadwright, I wanted to use some of it for a professional summary about myself. It took me over an hour to get it down to just the following:

"Ingenious, sharp, and diplomatic; frank and subtle when speaking; insane attention to detail. Evaluate and weigh things up before making a decision; good judgment and express myself clearly. Strong sense of ethics; reasoning with the ability to explain things and be logical; a revolutionary spirit. Sweet, attractive, and sunny disposition; faith in justice, which is trusted deeply. Great memory and intelligent; honest, and generous. Analytical and insatiable hunger for knowledge."

Notice the lack of use of the word "I" or "I am"? I understand not allowing someone to ramble on about themselves, but at the same time, how does anyone possibly come across as partially intelligent in only 500 characters or less?

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Pretty Poppies

I know I haven't done this in quite a while, so I decided to throw everyone off and do a "favorite pick" of the week. The following artists/crafters have incorporated "poppies" into their items and I have chose a few for you to enjoy. Remember, support artists and crafters everywhere by taking the "homemade" pledge.

I love this Red Poppy Adjustable Ring by CuteAbility. Her wording for this is rather cute: "This bright Red Poppy makes an Eye Popping statement on a Silver Tone Nickel Free Adjustable Ring." Notice the "Nickel Free"? Nice...

This is one of the most intricately hand carved and tooled leather cuffs I have ever seen. It includes a true California Poppy pattern and is made out of premium 8/9 oz vegetable-tanned cowhide. The finish is a dark antique, waxed and sealed. The gun-metal snaps makes for a secure closer. This is a highly dazzling piece and reminds me of some remarkable artwork, absolutely a wonderful addition to any outfit. This Tooled California Poppy Floral Leather Cuff was created by R. Holmes Custom Leather.

This is a really innovative painting of a girl and her twigs! This painting reminds me of my little girl and her love of nature. This Poppy Tree Print was created by the brilliant artist at thepoppytree. Make sure to check out the other original items that are in this shop.

I only have time for one more, but there are a ton of items on Etsy containing "poppies". If you click on this link for a search of all the items that include the keyword "poppies", you will see over 400 pages filled with wonderful items.

This list of wonderful poppy items would not be complete without the "Suntouchers" fine art print by kelela4. The poppies look to be truly reaching for the sun as they are extended high and opened wide.

Monday, July 27, 2009

What Color Am I?


You are a very calm and contemplative person. Others are drawn to your peaceful, nurturing nature.

Find out your color at!


Here is my official interview with Nicole of Beadwright. I really had fun with this one!!


Researching My Heritage

I am now living in a state where the Native American is the majority and us white folk are the minority. The interesting thing is that you can be a small percentage in Oklahoma in order to get any kind of assistance or special help. In Colorado, they are pretty strict, you have to be more than a quarter of a percent in order to apply for the same kind of help.

So, interestingly, my dad's mom was Cherokee and my mom's side is Choctaw. If I can find out if their families were registered with any of those tribes here in Oklahoma, I can get the help I need. Do not take for granted what you have; it is the small things that really do matter. This has become more clear to me than ever. Food, medical, utilities, and housing; the four main living groups.

While researching my dad's mom's family I found at that my Great-Grandpa, C.C. Cheatwood, was inprisoned at the ripe ol' age of 60 by the Lynchburg, West Virginia court system, for violating the Internal Revenue Act. Hmmmm, I thought that paying taxes was optional back before 1902. This will lead me to even more research as I find this absolutely fascinating.

When I was in school I had a Civics class in which we visited interesting political and legal issues like "paying taxes". Our teacher instructed to actually read the constitution in order to "debate" whether or not we felt that paying taxes was a "requirement". We, as a class, were amazed to find out that it isn't mandatory, "they" just want us to comply.

I am still researching and hope to make an actual educated determination of: 1) Is this C.C. Cheatwood really my Great-Grandpa and 2) Is really mandatory to pay taxes. I'll let you know what I come up with.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Revolution (Roller Coaster)

First, my life is somewhat of a "roller coaster" right now and I often wonder what my "words ought to be". So, when I decided to do another album cover; I was not at all surprised that it came out this way:

Monday, July 13, 2009

Colorado Springs, CO to Miami, OK Move

Just thought I would share some of the pictures I have taken so far from our recent move. The zucchinis are a sight to see as they are like the size of the small watermelons you may or may not see in the grocery store. My father-in-law uses Miracle Gro and I can't wait to make some bread out of them.

Move photos on Flickr

The Harry Potter Craze in Crafts

So the new movie is finally here and everyone in the crafting world are all in a HP craze. Handmade news wrote an article about some pretty talented crafters including fun websites like Alivan's Wand Shop!

I would like to suggest that you read the article for some really fun information and crafting items:

Harry Potter ~ Crafting Inspirational Magic

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Legalize Gay by American Apparel

The picture is what caught my attention and since I have relatives and friends that I support, I felt compelled to read the article. I did not realize that promoting anything other than "normal" sexuality was not acceptable.

I respect and agree with the comment at the bottom of the article "Sometimes what we do is controversial and not everyone agrees with our opinion. We hope that you can understand that we're sincere about this and that we think it's important, just like we are about Legalize LA".

So to read the entire article go to Legalize Gay and read it for yourself.

This really makes me irate:

ICE Targets Employers Who Follow the Law

U.S. Shifts Strategy on Illicit Work by Immigrants

Olga Ponce Furginson

While searching for my measurement conversion Word document that I created for the magnets that go on my refrigerator; I ran across the instructions I had downloaded a long time ago regarding paper cutting art. Olga is one of the most recognized "paper cutting" artists and while her website is somewhat nonuser friendly; she is still an amazing artist.

For those of us that promote art in school; Olga, in addition to countless awards, has also won The Professional Artists in Schools Association Award.

I'm not sure why alot of the links are not working on both of her websites, which was done by her son Robert B. Furginson. If you "search" for her on the internet you should be able to find other links to her work as well. If you would like to receive her simple instruction worksheet, e-mail me at and I will send them to you.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Moving and Jobless

Well, here is an update to our situation; We lost our house in CO and moved to this little town in OK called Miami. Jobless and no money really is hard to deal with. We are just keeping it simple, actually have to, and hoping that something changes. As I keep telling myself "we are not alone" and that a majority of America is in the same boat as we are; it just doesn't seem to help.

We moved from an almost 1,900 sq ft 7 year old house to an under 900 sq ft 100 year old house. Now, don't get me wrong as old houses have charm, but I am still getting used to walking on roller coaster floors. Not sure if I can ever get used to the over 150 species of creepy crawlies, but we are coping and dealing to the best of our abilities.

I hope to be back blogging soon, so keep checking back. Thanks to all who have shown the utmost support for our situation.

STRANGELING - The Art of Jasmine Becket-Griffith

If you don't know who Jasmine is; you really should! Check out some of her amazing products at

Friday, May 29, 2009

The "Bitch" Evolved: Why Girls Are So Cruel to Each Other

I know its been a while since I posted. I have been dealing with alot, which I won't go into. I found this "REALLY" interesting article and thought those females who read my blog would get a kick out of it. Now don't take it personally!! :0)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Beading Space Exposed

I've been reading alot about beading spaces. I decided to go ahead and expose my beading/work/craft space. I have:

3 Tall Bookshelves
1 Cabinet with Doors
1 Craft Desk
Lots of Everything Else!

Since Beading is not the only thing I do, I kind of have things scattered amongst the 3 bookshelves. Besides beading, I have scrapbooking, felt, stamping, and sewing supplies. The bookshelf above holds thread, scrapbooks, magazines, jewelry making books, and the two binders that I keep EVERYTHING jewelry related in.

My beading desk is my favorite spot. It has a drawer in the middle and two sides that I can store stuff in as the lids lift upward. I cherish my label maker and the handmade tool box I bought at a yard sale holds bead containers so I can be mobile when I need to be.

If you like to go to thrift stores, keep your eyes and mind open. I found two science test tube holders at a thrift store and now they hold some of the containers and wires that I use most often. I found the pink box in the background at Michaels at 50% off, brought it home, and painted it pink. This holds my small tools. I also have lots and lots of containers. I have come to prefer the clear stackable ones as I like to see what I have.

This is the cabinet with doors I was referring to earlier. This is just for my beading supplies. I know, I know, I have ALOT of supplies. Also, you can see my Cricket.

I use the rolling 3 drawer caddy to put my Macrame supplies in so that I can take it upstairs to the living room without having to make several trips.

This is my Mannequin that I had to throw some material on, because everyone in the family was like "that Mannequin being naked really bothers me"! These are the other two bookshelves that holds all the other craft stuff. The blue bag with name on it, is what I received from the Home Arts Club for joining and I LOVE that bag. Sometimes I'll empty it out and put whatever I am working on in the bag so I can be mobile. Right now it holds all of my felt pieces. I'm kind of obsessed with felt. The cat is real and her name is Daisy.

More pictures of the bookshelves and Mannequin. I also purchased the Jewelry Designer Manager software program and am moving all of my supplies into this program from QuickBooks because of the specific-to-what-I-am-doing reports and the ability to add pictures for the jewelry parts so I know what I have.


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