Monday, February 15, 2010

so much to blog about!

So last night around 11:30 when i finally closed up shop for the night, i went to bed and started opening my Valentine's day cards from my one on one card swap. i have to tell you, it was so fun! however, i quickly became overwhelmed with emotion and actually burst out in tears, because i think everyone really went beyond the call of duty. i just sent out these tiny little (although cute) vintage Valentine's Day cards and what i got in return was in no comparison. i got beautiful handmade cards, gifts, handmade earrings, a sewn card hanging, a beautifully heart shaped box filled with goodies, a Charlotte doll/spoon pendant and more. i am used to be the one who goes the extra mile and i just didn't see this coming; so from the bottom of my heart, i want to thank you for thinking of me- i truly am so grateful.

I also want to add that a few of the cards that i sent out were returned to me because of the tiny envelope i used. those cards are being resent tomorrow. however, if in a few days you haven't received a card from me (and you were suppose to), would you please contact me? i'd rather send another out belated then you not ever get one! that would upset me.
also, don't forget about the "ice resin" blog hop that started today brought to you by Objects and Elements. (it's perfect timing with all this fr
ozen ice and snow all over the ground!) i spent my morning going to each blog to see how the other participants use ice resin in their artwork. so many creative ideas and brillant art! and how fun is this? one of the participants, Marie Dodd, lives not 10 minutes from me; so that was fun to meet her! you can see my ice resin piece here.
So OWOH ended yesterday and today through random number generator, i was able to pick my winner. congratulations to Kathy of Artful Musings! this was OWOH's biggest year yet, with 1,088 participants representing 40 different countries!

i also had a second "secret" draw
ing for a very special blogger. she goes by the name of pixie. i made something special for her, so she is the 2nd winner of my OWOH giveaway. (but i'm not going to post a picture of what she won yet because i don't want her to see it!) Pixie is the daughter of a friend of mine and she is only 10! she wanted to start blogging and i have to say, i think that is quite cool. if you have a minute, stop by and say hello to Pixie; tell her Kecia told you all about her blog (just so mom knows where the traffic is coming from)
and just for fun, enjoy this picture of dillon and his girlfriend from yesterday. he called me down to take their picture and this is what i saw!


ok, lastly (this post just goes on and on!) i'm leaving on wednesday for las vegas! i am attending artnsoul and getting to see some good friends and my dad, who is driving in from Fallon, Nevada (near Reno) 2 days beforehand just to see me! looking forward to the camaraderie, soaking with Leighanna and Katie and some good old fashion silly fun. Once Artnsoul is over, i will be leaving for California where i will be teaching 2 classes at Gilding the Lily before returning home on March 1st! i'll do my best to stay in touch, but i'm not taking my laptop with me!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

aww, young love.....

First of all, Happy Valentine's Day! i realized that i had almost forgotten it in my stupor of getting ready to leave on Wednesday, getting projects finished, travel details finalized and of course, still being in a bit of a fog about kirby. i have been working all day, but tonight when i finally get to lay down on my bed, i will be opening up all the Valentine's Day cards that i received from my one on one card swap. some of you tricked me and sent packages with goodies in it! had i known that, i would have done the same thing for you - but always appreciated that you went the extra mile for me; especially right now when i need that extra little bit of love. a few of my cards (sent out in a timely manner!) were returned to me. apparently the tiny envelope (i set out vintage little cards that you would have given out in elementary school) was a bit of a nuisance for the sorting machine at the post office. they have been placed in new envelopes and will be mailed out on tuesday. sorry about that!

(in case you missed the post before about this heart shaped rock, i found it recently when i was out in California when my sister, niece and i went for a walk on the beach in Camarillo. isn't it beautiful? love that it has holes in it.)


For Valentine's Day, Dillon and I decided it would be fun for me to show him some basic metal smithing techniques so that he could make a handmade pendant for his girlfriend, Alana. it was fun getting to teach my son some of what i do. when i asked him how he liked it, he said that he found the lettering a bit stressful! but otherwise, he enjoyed it. isn't he sweet?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Ice Resin

Objects and Elements is holding an ice resin blog hop. Ice Resin is a jeweler's grade resin that doesn't yellow, fade or become brittle over time. There was a lot of hoopla over the product at CHA at the Objects and Elements booth. I know those girls spent many a minute talking to consumers about the product ( i spent a lot of time at their booth, since my good friend, Barbe St. John, is one of their design team members.) Having used the product a lot, i actually found myself in conversation with a few potential customers telling them about it, how it differs from what they've previously used, explaining how i use it in my work and then directing them to Barbe, Jen, Susan, Linda - whoever i could grab at the moment. one thing rings true about product review - people will not buy it until they know its uses and also understand how they can apply it to their own work.

So for the ice resin blog hop, the requirments were to show a piece of your work (any medium) where you used ice resin. let me tell you a little bit about my piece. i was actually working on making an altered doll using one of my vintage Charlotte doll heads. i was using my dremel to even out her torso, remove sharp edges, etc. when her head broke in half. at first i was quite dismayed having most of the doll completed except adding the head. i put the doll head down; thinking, "what a shame, i hate to waste this broken piece". i had some soldering supplies nearby and also putty medium leftover from the altered doll. so i decided to see how i like the doll head smushed into the putty medium. it was so so, but i could see how i might salvage it. so i took the putty medium and let it dry onto one of my glass pieces. then did some soldering to it. i didn't like looking at the putty medium, so i collaged vintage song music over it, added the wings via soldering and then let it sit for a few days to see what i thought. i liked her, but thought she needed something else. a few days later as i was working on a commission order and using ice resin when i thought i'd add some to the broken doll head(around the collaged text) and viola - i loved it! the resin dries perfectly clear, no yellowing and just added that bit of sparkle needed to make me really "love" the piece. from there i just started playing; adding old charms from a necklace no longer worn and then completing it with deconstructed chain and wire wrapping. i also feel that i don't have to worry about the collage paper peeling up from the putty medium given the fact that it is sealed under the ice resin.

So the date is set: The first ever ICE Resin
® Blog Hop is set for next week. The beginning date will be Monday, Feb. 15th and continue through Friday, Feb. 19th. stop by to see what the design team members, other consumers and bloggers, like me, have tried with ice resin.
here are all the participants in the ice resin blog hop:

Molly Alexander

Ro Bhrun

Karen Burns

kecia deveney

Mary Jane Dodd -- Mary Jane

Melanie Earthenwood
Shea Fragoso

Kerin Gale

Vickie Hallmark

Jess Italia Lincoln

Jill Liles

Heather Powers and

Amy Purdes

Jenny Barnett Rohrs

Stephanie Rubiano

Lisa Sommerville
Kim Taylor

And then also the Objects and Elements Design Team and Susan Lenart Kazmer

Jen cushman

Deryn Mentock

Kristen Robinson

Barbe Saint John

Susan Lenart Kazmer

sewing fun

(hint, click on picture for enlarged view)
just a picture to show the jeans i've been altering. it's been fun and keeping my mind occupied. for the most part, i used vintage scraps from quilts, lace, trim, doily's and such.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

another snow storm

this was how some snow drifted onto a tree limb- i noticed it from my kitchen window. i love how it looks like a heart.

(this is a funny picture of pepper who came outside to use the bathroom and then immediately turned around and ran back into the house!)

well, we are right in the middle of another snow storm. i took a bunch of pictures outside during a slight let up and then i ran down to the beach (with Gracie) to take some photos down there. i've always wanted to see the beach during a snow storm and it was really beautiful. so quiet; hardly a soul there besides grace and i.

after leaving the beach, i took a side street that runs along lake como; a pretty area that i often take photos at. so i made a pit stop to grab a photo opp of a tree and bench next to the lake. i left grace in the car and told her i'd be right back. well, grace freaked out and some how managed to lock the car door! inside the car were my purse, cell phone and extra set of keys! yikes! i walked a few houses down and found someone home (the beach is deserted in the winter!) told them what happened, etc. called jeff, called AAA and then the police. the police arrived first with a sour policeman chastising me for "not picking a better day" (yeah, right buddy) and then was complaining how gracie was in the way to him seeing the lock. so i went to the other side of the car in hopes of getting her to go to that window instead and when she flew over, she managed to roll down the window a bit! yahoo. i quickly stuck my hand through the little gap she made (thank god for skinny arms and long fingers) and then managed to reach and unlock the door. pwhew! what an adventure. i have to say the couple who let me in to use the phone, was so nice and i am really grateful that they were so helpful.


anyway, here's the picture i just had to stop for (that caused all the grief!)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


i've been spending my time quietly missing my sweet doggie. i sure do not like being sad. but i certainly realize it is all part of the grieving process. we had her cremated yesterday as the ground is just too frozen to dig through right now. can't say i enjoyed that whole process very much even though the facility was very nice. i guess it's just more finality.

when i am sad, i like to write haiku's in my journal. so i wrote a few to help capture my memories of kirby:

i see you waiting
you watching as i make your food
barking, so happy

i watch you outside
walking around, taking your stroll
find a stick to chew

you lay there sunning
wriggling around the grass
paws rubbing your nose

i see your eyes close
you drifted away peacefully
yet my heart is broken

sitting there watching
you see the world through your eyes
a bark to join in

cute button black nose
mouth full of crooked teeth
suggestive of a smile


i've also been doing some therapeutic "fun" art. art just for me; not to sell, not to submit and not to fill orders. just no pressure, fun, fulfilling art. been altering a pair of jeans to wear in vegas, i think they are looking pretty cool.


Friday, February 5, 2010

just wanted to let you know

at 1:30pm today feb. 5th, 2010, we had to say goodbye to our sweet kirby. it was the right choice to make. she had a rough night and after seeing the vet today, it was apparent it was time. we had it done here at our home and she will be buried in the backyard.

i've thought about this day for several years now as she has gotten older. it was always weighing on my mind; wondering how much time we had left with her. i guess i had hoped she'd live forever.

we had 14 wonderful years with her and i'm going to proclaim that she was the best dog ever. i think dinner time will be the worst when she would do her "kirby shuffle" as she was excited for her home cook meals that i made for her. i will also miss her love of dillon and his friends. even as she aged, she wanted to be right in the middle of whatever they were doing. she'd go up and down the steps right along with them; never minding that it was hard for her to get back up the steps. she and dillon grew up together. i know dillon is quite sad right now; as we all are.

as i massaged her last night, i talked to her and told her how much i loved her and i asked that she especially be there to greet me at Rainbow Bridge so that we could cross it together. i know she'll be there. i miss her sweet, friendly face so much already.

i want to thank everyone for all their kind words. certainly i am not the first pet owner to lose their pet; but i appreciate you all understanding and offering up much needed support.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

laying low

i'm feeling a little sad, so if i'm quiet in the next week, you'll know why. kirby, our sweet little golden retriever was just diagnosed with lymphoma. i can't say i'm shocked and with her age, it's to be expected. kirby is the sweetest, kindest dog. she loves everyone and always wants to be right in the middle of all the kids, just like she is one of them. i call her "the ambassador". i don't want to say goodbye to her yet; guess i thought she'd live forever.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

CHA memories

what can i say about CHA? it was the most amazing time. i don't think i have ever talked to so many people in my entire life! i met facebook friends, women from TV, editors from magazines, women who run the behind the scenes of businesses, friends or acquaintances from the past, people who recognized me from retreats or classes we took together. it went on and on. and i loved every minute. the connection to all these women was just amazing to me. and that is what is so cool- how we can connect with one another via the internet and then one day meet in person. there were people to cheer me on, encourage me, support me, compliment me all the while with me doing the same. stories to be told, stories to be shared. quick flashes of running into busy people who spare a minute to listen to you. running into old instructors, now friends and receiving such warm and embracing hugs from them as they listen to me prattle on! hanging out with silly girls who are so like me, it is scary! the walking, the talking, the energy spent, the looking, the make and takes, being recognized by people who read my blog. the compliments on my jewelry, my style, handing out business cards left and right and so much more. honestly, i felt like i was at home in this crafty little universe under one roof in my home state of California!

i mentioned how meeting Jenny Doh was a highlight of the event, but i have to also tell you that i got to meet Aleene, of Aleene's tacky glue! i believe she is turning 85 this year and she pioneered for us all with her crafty little invention of this amazing glue! she was so cute as she autographed many bottles of this very popular glue!

to top it off, off the cuff, i extended my trip over the next weekend by heading back to Ventura with my sister and niece who drove down to spend the day with me. i think we all needed to spend some time together and i am glad we did.

i am home again and getting unpacked, following up on contacts and going through all the info given to me along the way. in a few weeks, i'll be flying back to California again to teach at Gilding the Lily (Fullerton, CA), so maybe i shouldn't bother unpacking my suitcase! check out the classes here and here if you are curious!


Just in case you missed it:
i've got 2 workshops coming up next weekend and there are a few spots left. read about it here! email me at with any questions!

slide show!