Monday, April 27, 2009

back home, but not for long

I am home. got in tonight around 6:30. what a long day! i've unpacked, did my laundry and then repacked again because i leave on Wed. for Artnsoul in Virgina, where i am selling at vendor night. after i return home, whatever jewelry did not sell i will be adding to my new website (finally)! seriously, between the laptop crash, this show and going to cali, i just haven't had the time to work on my website. but it is my # 1 goal upon returning (that and working on some online classes). i received an exciting email while i was away saying my submission to Belle Amoire jewelry had been accepted and will be in the September 2009 issue - yay, clap, clap! (i'm excited)


here is a class picture from this weekend, hijacked from my new friend and classmate, Julie Prichard. it was a really great group of girls, very laid back, no drama, lots of sharing and caring. we had good food and the company of sweet Gigi who received so much attention. i believe we wore Gigi out! i took so many pictures of Gigi - i feel like a stalker. but every pose Gigi made was adorable, so i couldn't help it. i'm a sucker for cutie patooties! i found it interesting that 4 of the women there (including myself) have special needs children. one of the gals was really cool. her name is Lisa and i overheard her mentioning something, so i called her over and began grilling her. it turns out that Lisa decided to quit her job, get rid of most of her possessions and start living an artful life. she's traveling her car where she sleeps at campgrounds. Suzi's class was the first stop on her interesting adventure. i just think that sounds so fun. i invited her to New Jersey and do hope she takes me up on it. So did anyone see me on the streaming live video that Suzi had going during class? Deidra emailed me and said she saw me when i was wearing my blue mermaid wig!


after class was over on the 2nd day, anyone who wasn't hitting the road headed to the beach, which was beautiful. perfect conditions: warm, no wind, sunny - it was lovely. from there my cute little friend, Kelly Snelling, called. we had made dinner plans with her and Ruth Rae, so me, Becci and Julie met them for sushi. it was a lovely dinner and the perfect way to end my time in San Diego.


Patti and i channel our inner mermaids. (i'm a hollywood mermaid with the glam glasses) i made that crown with real shells and it was heavy!


here is my piece from class. i still have some work to finish up on it. i wasn't getting the whole "shading" concept very well, so need to do more shading on her face before i beeswax the whole surface. oh, and i have to add my words too. i have so many more pictures, but for tonight, i'll leave you with this one of Gigi:

Thursday, April 23, 2009


I'm in San Diego! Got to my hotel around 1:00pm, unloaded my stuff and then went to see the area. i ended up walking for about 3 hours. i explored the little town area, had lunch and then walked through the neighborhoods to the beach accesses. (it's a cliff side town, so you have to find a beach access and then walked down quie a few stairs to get to the beach). it was a little chilly, so i opted not to go onto the beach, but just kept walking around and taking pictures and taking in the sites. this morning i am renting a car and taking a drive. i'm going to see my friend, Jennifer's, store in Solana Beach (It's called, "Leaping Lotus"). then i'll be heading down to check out the Tijuana bird estuary (on the U.S. side) should be a nice day; although it is chilly and overcast. just waiting for the rental car company to come pick me up so i can head out.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

bird nerd

I'm sure you've been able to figure out that i am a bit of a bird nerd. i really enjoy photograhing them and wildlife in general. this morning as i was getting tucker ready for school i looked out at the feeding area i have set up right outside the kitchen window and saw a bird i'd never seen in our yard before (actually i've never see one like it at all). so i snapped a pic and just like that he flew off. getting out my bird book if found out that he is a Orchard Oriole. he wasn't in the feeder but on the ground and he was doing this funny little dance. reading in the book it says they eat insects, so my guess is, the dance with his feet was actually a "bug search". it was fun. i love getting to see new birds and even checked them off in my book! (told you , bird nerd!)


now this is a picture of our friendly neighborhood woodpecker. he is very large and frequents our feeder alot. i've just never gotten my camera out in time before he flew off. well, he landed on the feeder moments after the Oriole took off, so i had my camera in hand. he does not like to eat when any other birds are on the feeder. he will actually stop eating and stare at the other bird until the other bird gets intimidated and flies off. then he'll proceed to finish snacking.


this is the little chipmunk who lives under our deck and drives the westies crazy! he loves to come over to the feeder and snack away.

Monday, April 20, 2009


so a couple more days and i am out of here - heading to gorgeous San Diego. i have a few days to play and then 2 days of painting and fun with miss suzi blu. i think i am most excited for the sunshine. (unless a little black rain cloud plans of following me over there - which i won't be happy about....)

i'm still soliciting handmade cards of well wishes for JoAnna and Ron (see previous 2 posts). (and check out how great the fund is doing) i'd like to get a bunch of them! i've got a pretty box to put the cards in. any cards that arrive while i am gone, jeff will put into the box for me. right now my card is the only one in there and it's kind of lonely, but i know some are on the way- yay, thanks! (the picture above is the card i made them). email me at and i'll tell you where to send the cards. thanks.


the other day, jeff and i went for a walk on the beach since it was actually sunny. on the way back home we drove by a pond and i saw some egrets (from a distance it looked like 2 egrets and a bunch of seagulls). so as we got closer, we realized it was not only 2 big egrets - but also 8 baby egrets! talk about a treat. of course, i did not have my camera with me and had an appointment to get to. so i had jeff go get my camera and after picking me up from my appt., we went back to see if they still were. yes! they were so fun to watch.

this picture was one of a few where i actually got all of them in one shot. so there's 2 parents and 8 babies.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

wow, i am amazed with the blogging community

so yesterday i posted about my friend, Joanna. her husband, Ron, is in a life or death situation - the blogging community has really rallied behind her and i am in awe. i am deeply touched that so many people care and have taken the few seconds needed to make a donation. bless you from the bottom of my heart. when i posted yesterday, about this same time, there was $649 -ish in the account. now we are passed $3,000 dollars!
i think back to that time when my child, Tucker, was so ill and me and my husband had left our apartment in Nevada for life in a rehabilation center (not rehab as in "drugs", but physical rehab). you see, Tucker, was a victim of medical malpractice. i still find the whole topic very difficult to talk about, but i'm going to share a little with you. basically a surgeon made a critical mistake and left Tucker without oxygen. he suffered a traumatic brain injury and is now classified as "multip-handicap". he is in a wheelchair, is cortically blind, is fed through a g-tube and has no purposeful movement (meaning he won't reach out for a toy). cognitively, tucker is at a 6 month old level. this injury occurred when he was 16 months old. it was a devastating and life altering experience. i can only cope by thinking of tucker "after" his injury. i find it way too painful to remember things as they were before. i almost go into a post traumatic stress syndrome when accosted with those memories.
when we left for the rehab center, we left the state of Nevada for Salt Lake City. we had no money, no where to live, no jobs - we left everything. we took an apartment. we had no furniture but 2 lawn chairs. we slept on sleeping bags and "invested" in egg crates to put underneath them. i found milk crates to put our clothes in and a friend of my husband took us shopping for some dishes and cookware. we didn't have cell phones, laptops (or blogs!). it was very isolating. my husband and i coped very differently, so it wasn't a good time for us as a couple. it was a very lonely, awful, horrible time. we spent up to 12 hours a day at that facility. fearful to leave, fearful to be there. i lost so much weight from the stress- i wanted to die if you want to know the truth. Joanna's plight is stirring up these memories and i feel compelled to share them with you. maybe i need to face them. my father and stepmom took care of our bills (car payments and i can't even remember what else) and for that i will be eternally grateful. they helped raise tucker from a newborn and this event took a toll of them as well. even as i type now, my eyes are full of tears. clearly still a very painful subject for me.
my point though, was to say, that during those difficult times, $3,000 dollars would have seem like the lottery to us. we still had living expenses and tucker still needed things. people would randomly send us cards with a $5 bill in it, saying, - go grab some coffee; take a much needed break from the worry. these little things meant the world to us. so from someone who has been there, thank you.
I'm also going to organized for a box of handmade cards to be sent to JoAnna and Ron. if you would like to participate, email me at and i'll send you my address. since his surgery needs to happen soon, i'd like to get the cards to them as soon as we can.

Friday, April 17, 2009

an art friend needs our help

I've mentioned, Joanna, before. She's a lovely artist and now an online instructor. she and her husband, Ron, have been going through some tough times (just like alot of Americans right now). Ron was laid off his job and they lost their medical insurance. Joanna herself, is into her 2nd year of recovery from breast cancer. Having lost her mother within the last year, she's been through much emotionally. Now, Ron, has been diagnosed with a massive brain tumor. unless he receives surgery to remove it, he 's been told he won't live a month. they had been battling the heathcare system for weeks trying to get an MRI and now are going through the same fight all over again to try and get him covered for surgery. i'm asking anyone, even if it's $5 to donate to them through "chip in". please understand that every little bit will help. i realize any amount won't cover a medical bill, but she's going to have living expenses if they do indeed head of to San Francisco for his surgery. Many years ago, i too went through an unthinkable tragedy that threw me and my husbands life into utter chaos. if it weren't for the kindess of family, friends and strangers, i don't know what we would have done. i know the stress, fear, sadness and lonliness she is feeling right now. and i can tell you that JoAnna won't feel right about this. she doesn't like to accept money, but tough! there is only so much a person can shoulder. we need to help them.

disentregration project

Seth Apter, of The Altered Page who started the "disentegration project", is gearing for the big unraveling event on May 1st. i won't be here, so i'll show you my project and how it is coming along. i started mine late in the game, and we haven't had much sunshine (snow and rain!) - so i'm leaving mine out for the summer and going for the 2nd unveling in aug. but i noticed some cool rust spots. there is a lot of interesting people participating in the project, so if you have minute to look at the main project page, you can see all the different projects going on.

here's a pic of the project during one of our snow storms:

Thursday, April 16, 2009

bird bell

here is a cool bell that i found at Pier One recently. i haven't been in that store in forever. i thought it would look cute hanging on my front porch.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter

i found this vintage rabbit at the flea market recently. love his banner "Mr. Chocolate Rabbit"

i put this little guy in dillon's Easter basket

what i'm working on

gosh, guess what? it rained all day today. blahhh! i'm so sick of it. it finally got sunny around 7:30 - just in time for it to start getting dark. i'll sure be glad when i shake this black cloud that's been following me around. when i go to San Diego on the 22nd, if it rains there, we are going to have problems! this is a little dollie i am working on. she will eventually be part of a necklace. i bought her at the flea market for . 25cents and she was rather ugly. some gross kind of plastic, yet soft and rubbery. i removed her clothes, arms, lets and then proceeded to remove her hair,but when i was using the heat gun on her, her face starting melting and her eyes collapsed into her skull. yikes! she went from ugly to hideous at that point and almost landed herself in the trash. but i figured i'd wait to see how she looked painted. and i am glad i did, she's rather cute now.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

local press today

today there was a little article in the local paper (Asbury Park Press) talking about etsy and local etsians (me included). check it out at: i have to laugh though, because he quoted me in the article saying something dumb about Marshall's and TJMaxx and i know i had more important things to say besides that!

Friday, April 10, 2009

2009 Art Book Project is Ready

The book, "Paws for charity" has been released. the book has been well received and is currently ranked the #1 seller at - so that's pretty exciting! it features 37 artists and photographers who submitted work all in the name of the charity, Avon Breast Cancer Crusade. My artwork was a collage of my mom's dog, entitled, "Blossom playing in the garden".

Thursday, April 9, 2009

wow, a sunny day in New Jersey!

we had a nice day today here at the Jersey shore - and let me tell you that means something! it has been cold, rainy, cloudy, windy, gray and we are all tired of it! so jeff and i headed out to a flea market after getting tuck on the bus. we went to a different flea market, this one is further away and we got a little lost. but that's okay, it was a nice enough day to be out driving in the sun that we didn't mind. although i did have to finally call my friend, Abbie, for the flea market address so that i could program my GPS. thanks Abbie, glad you were home! while pursuing all the wares, i came across this darling woman. her name is Michelle and she was more than thrilled when i asked her if i could take her photo. don't you love her spunk? and check out her pin!


at another booth, we came across this darling little doggie being carted around in a little pup sack. her name is Zora and she is a therapy dog. she was there with her doggie sister, but can't remember her name.


here is some of the loot i came home with:

great findings for jewelry


awesome old medal

wonderful Charlotte doll

old pictures - these are little though, about 2/34" long x 2"wide


vintage sterling teething rings. cool, huh?

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

new dolls

today's project was to get a few dolls done. i just love making these dolls. easy, fun and the creativity of what you can do with them are endless. off to bed!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


a few months ago, i put a note on my blog for 3 people who were interested in participating in a PIF with me. Basically you "pay it forward" to 3 people by giving them a piece of handmade art. the time frame was a year. the other night when i was busy making some mini snippet journals (pocket snippets!) to sell at Artnsoul in Hampton, i thought these would be perfect PIF's. these are the 3 i made special for my particpants. now upon receiving their PIF's they will pay it forward to 3 more people. "Snippets" are little fabric collages i make and will be teaching for the first time at Art is, in October.

Monday, April 6, 2009

new painting

today was rainy (again), dark and dreary. the only enjoyable part was the LOUD thunder that shook the house. no lightening though. dillon had his first driving lesson today and he had to drive around in that kind of weather. talk about your quick intro to foul weather driving. i decided i wanted to paint today after spending all day yesterday sewing mini little snippet journals to sell at Artnsoul in May. i've been wanting to paint for quite some time, but tend to put it off since it takes me awhile to paint (versus other things like sewing and jewelry that doesn't take as long for me). i was channeling my inner Misty Mawn today. misty does her hands like that and she can draw, but i am here to tell you that i tried to draw a hand today and it went badly! so i opted for this easy techique to save myself from the madness! i haven't decided if this is a keeper or for sale. (that's another problem i have with paintings, i have a hard time parting with them). i will be scanning it and using the image in more work though (like a treasure box for beginners....) i also have a few more things i want to do on it. on the back of the girl, i'm going to be adding a real pair of butterfly wings that Jeff saved for me when he found a butterfly in our garden. and then i wanted to add some sort of text, but need to think about what it will say. i wanted it to be something like a common bond between the girl with her wings and the butterfly. maybe something like "as different as we seem, one common bond brings us together" or something like that.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

poker chip swap

Lisa Kettell held a "poker chip" swap with the theme of "circus". she altered a couple of poker chips in her new book, so thus the idea for her swap. i was paired with Lisa and another partner. the only rule was to use a poker chip and make two of them. i decided instead of building upon my chip laying flat that i would build it up. i pictured a circus tent. recently at the flea market i scored some really awesome vintage rubber stamps in their original box and they are all circus related. (so cool!) i chose the ringmaster stamp to go under the tent. so what the ringmaster is standing on is the poker chip, which i glued onto a piece of foam.


in other news, it has been rainy, cloudy, foggy, windy and in general - YUCKY! when i dropped dillon off at the show, i was pleasantly surprised by some sunshine. when i came out of the building not 10 minutes later, it was still sunny, but pouring. i said to myself, "there's gonna be a rainbow soon" and sure enough- there it was. what's more special than a rainbow?


Friday, April 3, 2009

"Little shop of horrors" play

tonight was the high school play, "Little shop of horrors". Dillon played the dentist (played by Steve Martin in the movie). he did a great job and in my opinion, stole the show! i am very proud of him and quite impressed with his acting and singing.

cast pictures

i managed to get this one shot before the play (since i wasn't suppose to be there!)

dillon being congratulated by family


someone looks tired and ready to head off for some food with his friends.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Mermaid hair

I'm flying out to San Diego (Encinatas) on April 22nd to take a 2-day class with Suzi Blu. we are painting mermaids. a few of us have decided to wear colorful mermaid wigs, crowns, bunny ears, etc. all in the name of fun!

slide show!