Friday, July 31, 2009

Getting my Art Groove Back- S-L-O-W-L-Y

It seems like a long time since my last post, for me and my habits, I suppose it HAS been a long time. Upon our return from Cape Cod I was taken out of my game by a really nasty sinus infection. Actually both Tom and I have been down and out of it for the past 4 days!! Yes the inmates have been in charge of the Asylum!!! Actually the dogs pretty much run the show anyway!!! (Not Really!!!!) I gave in a went to the Dr. once I started running a fever as I was concerned about Flu and with Tom being oversea's next week, I could just imagine him getting quarantined somewhere..... not a pretty thing!!! So Off to the Dr. I went. No flu- thank goodness, but Dr. suggested antibiotics as she suspected a sinus infection . Well I hate taking antibiotics for a whole miriade of reasons, the least of which being the havoc that is wrecked on the body!! well, I stocked up on yogurt and fruit on the way home and here we find ourselves at Friday.!!! YIKES!!!
Had to cancel my Beading Workshop- great way to launch a set of classes but better this than sharing my sinus infection with a group of new students!!! SIGH!!!!
I did manage to finish off a set of charms for the Think Pink Charm Exchange!! Amber Dawn of the Inventive Soul is taking on this project once again this year, in conjuntion with the Think Pink Block Party!

The amazing Monica Magness is at it again!! You may all remember the Think Pink Art Doll for which over 180 artists created two inch square art quilt squares?? Well Monica created a glorious doll, Love Squared, that was raffled off to raise money for Susan G. Komen Organization for Breast Cancer Research. Over $3000 $$ was raised in this effort!!!! There were some left over squares from Love Sqared's gown and these left overs have been used to create Quilt Blocks that have become a wonderful wall hanging. All is revealed here today!!!!! July 31st!!! Please go and take a look at this amazing project!!! Click HERE!
As happened last year anyone who makes a donation to get a raffle ticket is also entered in a drawing for many other wonderful prizes donated by many wonderful artists. Amoung the prizes will be one of my large Muse Birds that has been Blinged up in extra special wonderful ways just for this project!!!
Here are the charms that I have created for this years Charm exchnge. These charms will join many other's to become charm bracelets that will be auctioned off to raise money for Susan G. Komen.

I created these using squares of fulled electir pink wool sweatering, vintage MOP buttons and seed beads.

On the backs of each I stitched a snippet of pink fabric paper held on with a flower sequin with a seed bead center.
Now I am off to visit Monica's Blog again to take in more of the pictures of the Block Art Quilt!!!
Please join me there!!!!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

We're Back from the Beach!

But alas, we could not bring it home with us! There is a bit of extra sand in the foot wells of my van, however!! I also managed to bring back quite a few beach treasures, including wonderful bits of sea glass and the odd bit of sea washed wood. Becca upgraded her Boogie Board and had a wonderful time in the waves. The water ranged form 58 - 62 degree's F- temps rather unusual for July but we were not complaining!!

Now we are trying to return to some sort of a routine. I am the one struggling a bit with getting back into my art. My immediate task is working downstairs to make it hospitable for students who will arrive tomoorow for Beaded Cuff Classes.
Hence this post is SHORT. I will post again soon! I missed all of you in Blogland and I am spending some time catching up on everyone else's blogs and your wonderful artwork!
Art On!!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Time for the Annual All Girls Road Trip!!!

This will be a very quick not e to let you know that Becca and I will be on our way to the Outer Beaches of Cape cod on July 11th. We will be on our way home on July 22 so I will not be blogging for awhile. Please please send all sorts of positive thoughts that the weather for the eastern seaboard will WARM UP!!! Regardless I will be the one huddled in blankets on the beach while theWild Child boogie boards her days away in the surf!!!
!!! (I'M NOT KIDDING!!!)

So I will leave you with some shots of what is currently happening in my garden!! My roses are blooming again and the daylilies are glorious!!

These lilies look totally tropical and they smell soooo good!!

The white Phlox are amazing!!

Belinda's Dream is enjoying the company of Flutterby daylily!

Flutterby is blooming her fool head off!!!

"SO Many flowers! MUST REST!!"

The Shasta daisies are starting to come on strong!! The white sets off the riot of color so well!! It gives the eye a place to rest!!!

DID I mention how much I LOVE MY DAYLILIES???

I hope that everyone has a wonderful couple of weeks! I'll be posting as soon as I get back from the BEACH!!!!

Do You Know.......

about the wonderful gals and great artistic resource of Two Creative Studios????? The pictures above are from their Class Projects list and give you a wonderful idea of the fabulous quality of the instruction that these two very talented ladies offer!!! I have known Terri and Sue through various on-line groups for quite awhile. They are two incredibly talented and generous women who have teamed up to teach awesome on line classes and they offer free instruction sheets for many of their wonderful projects!! The latest instruction sheet that I am most excited about is "how to get started with Soy Wax Batik' You can find it here. I have added this project as a starred project on my To DO List!!!

Sue and Terri provide a great monthly newsletter (you can sign up here) and they have just announced a great giveaway for free classes! Go on by for a visit! I know that you will be glad that you did!!!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Poppy Quilt on the TA DA!!! LIST!!!!!!

I added a border of a beautiful green batik, added straps for hanging and found the PERFECT curly willow stick! Done, FINI, complete!! Hurray!! It was supposed to be in the mail yesterday!! It's coming Laura!!!

I took this piece in it's unfinshed state, to my workshop with Laura Cater-Woods. She suggested that I not backt he piece as that would cover the lovely (her words) thread picture on the back. I considered her valued opinion and decided to take her advice. I think that I am quite happy that I did!!

I hope that you do too, Laura!!!

One of the Best Parts of Summer....... visits with family!!! Before you is a photo taken last week of my brother, Peter, his wife Elise, and my two neices Mali and Kate. We were so lucky to lay claim to them for 2 and a half days during their current home viist from their posting to Tanzania, in East Africa!! The main focus of this home visit is a college tour for Mali. She is 17, the same age as my Matthew, and the family has a country tour mapped out that takes them to about 10 colleges that Mali is interested in. They landed here in VA at our house last Wednesday evening and we had a wonderful relaxing visit. We were all sorry to see them leave but very grateful that we got to see them at all!!
We managed to fit in a river float on the Rappahanock river, a bit of Civil War sight seeing, several loads of laundry, some fun play time ont he WII attempting to teach Uncle Peter to play wII golf and then a wonderful tour of several galleries in Fredericksburg on first Friday evening. Peter also managed to squeeze in time for a compost pile assessment and reorganization .(more about the glories of COMPOST later in this post!) Then on the 4th, they were off to join friends in Baltimore to watch the Fire works from a deck over looking the Inner Harbor while dining on Maryland Crab. (tough gig for them don't you think??) We stayed in on the 4th attempting to keep our critters sane while the neighbors set off firewarks!!!!

Somehow the WII does not play golf like one does on a real golf course, but we had fun trying anyway!! Check out the form of that shot!!!!
I love this shot of the kids! Of course Buddy refused to be left out- he would have prefered to ahve been left alone to bask in his sun spot!!! The kids had a great time together!
The Jensen's always bring us amazing treasures form their part of the world. This visit was no exception!!
Matthew was gifted with two Ethiopian Daggers.

Everything that we are given has been a functional object at some point in it's life. These were purchased in Addis Ababa, by Peter during a recent Peace Corps trip.
Matthew also recieved a wonderful chunk of Obsidian form the top of Mount Kilimanjaro. Last Fall, Mali and Peter trekked to the summit, with a hand made OBAMA sign in hand!! Kili is a long extinct volcano so I have no idea how old this piece of stone is but I do know that it is at least ancient!!!

Becca was given a wonderful handcrafted instrument that is a cross between a western guitar and a violin. It has two wire strings and a "bow" made from a very straight twig. The challenge now is to figure out how to play it without driving the entire household mad!!!It is called a GITA and is made from carved wood and a calabash gourd.

One side of the opening in the gourd is covered by goat skin . The skin is held on with thorns from the Acacia tree. You can see the needle like thorns thru the opening in the back, here.
I got a wonderful strand of paper beads and then two strands of beads from Ethiopia made from silver metal and bone.

Peter also gifted us with a real historical treasure. He is always on the lookout for oddities and knows that I love to collect glass and that Tom is an engineer and would also appreciate this gift.
This is a Codd Bottle. It was designed in Germany to hold and transport carbonated beverages before the technology had been developed to holding vessels closed when the contents was stored under pressure.

This is an ingenious invention that has the bottle and the cap of the bottle as a single unit. By placing two pinches in the molten bottel and encasing a rubber gasket and glass marble in the neck of the bottle, the carbonated beverage could be stored. when the liquid is dispensed into the bottle the marble is forced up against the gasket at the top and protrudes just a bit from the top. Thus the bottle is sealed .

To get at the beverage, one must smack the marble down into the bottle where it is stopeed by one pinch in the glass and held away from the opening by the other pinch.

These bottles are quite rare as they were meant to be recycled but once the kids of Zanzibar saw the marbles contained inside as a potential toy, the bottles were smashed to get to the marble and therefore were not returned to the factories for refilling. Apparently one of these bottles , cobalt blue in color , was just auctioned off for over 500,00 dollars!!
Cool stuff, don't you think????
Many of you know about what my family is doing in Africa, but it bears repeating. Elise works for USAID- a division of the US State Department and PEter does contract work for the Peace Corps as well as developing a wonderful program to educate folks on the glories of compost!!!!
Yes, I said COMPOST!!!!! He is proving to all who are listening that they can grow enormous yeilds of healthy crops in gardens right outside of their homes and can do so with tools that they create themselves and with native crops and no chemical fertilizers.!!! Folks all over Africa are after him to come to their county to train their people to use this simple and elegant system for self sustainability!!
This is his Logo on a shirt that he brought for Matthew.
This stool is a very sturdy cooking stool that has been used for many many generations by women tending the cook fires to feed their families.
The stool is a symbol of strength, stability and sustainability. Permagardening is a sustainable method because each of the legs of the stool remains intact: environmental soundness,(compost) economical viability and social acceptability. Means its good for the environment, makes money and it fits within the social/family framework. Bustani kwa Maisha Bora means Gardens for Better Living in KiSwahili.
I am in the process of convincing him to get a blog up and running so all who are interested can follow along with him on his incredible journey. he knows that he wants and needs a blog, it is just a matter of geting him out of his compost piles long enough to put one together.!!! as soon as he has a blog up and running I will be sure to announce it here!
I hope that everyone had a happy and safe 4th of July! Our visit from family was certainly one of the highlight's of our summer!!


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