Saturday, November 1, 2008

Here's what just happened in our back yard. The old garage/shed building was obviously not going to last through this winter, so a couple days ago we tore it down. To be precise, it literally fell over during the process. We will be building another structure out there soon that, while it will look like a garage, will in reality be my new studio! I'm still working on the design, our budget is tight, and it will take a while to get going, but by springtime I'll have the large, well-lit work area I've always wanted. After the basic shell and roof of the building are up, my husband and I will be doing a lot of the interior work ourselves to save money, and that is where most of the time will go, I'm thinking, since that will have to be fit in among our other, paying, jobs. But... WOW! What an interesting year this is going to be.

I've been working away on the Bead Journal Project, but I'm just not wanting to show any of it as yet. Last year, I posted all the pieces I was able to do, and all my progress on them, but this year I'm wanting to keep this to myself for some reason. I finished the December 2007 page a while ago, and I'm not ready to post that one, either.

Meanwhile, cats need attention, work needs doing, progress is being made all over. I can't wait to see what happens next.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Here's my December page, in progress.  After another very intense Summer of deadlines and cross-country drives, I'm back working and can give more time to the beading.  Now that the month, and the 2007 BJP is coming to a close, my only regret is never getting enough of these done so I can have a page on the 2007 BJP website...  I'll be continuing with 2007 as I work on 2008, and posting them here, I suppose, since they won't be appropriate for 2008.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Still Working...

I'm just about in the middle of my, um, December page.  And while I am not setting any speed records (except for maybe slow speeds), I'm happy to still be working on this.  I will finish up with 2007, but it may take me well into 2008 or '09 before I'm done.

The new BJP starts up so soon!  Yes, I'm going to continue, and begin the new year's projects.  I have a better chance of keeping up with it, since all my family stuff is OVER, the house sold, my step-brother currently residing on our back porch while he figures out what to do next. So no more drama from that quarter, and no more long drives to disaster.  To be sure, there will be something that will jump in the way, but I'm hoping that 2008 - 2009 will be much better and much calmer, and I'll have more time to devote to artwork and especially the Bead Journal Project.

Right now it's in the mid 80s here in Portland, with a predicted high of 97F!  I may move down in the basement for the afternoon to hide from the heat.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

... And Another Page Somehow Appears

Here's my latest page, which puts me at about, um, November. November was maybe my least favorite month of last year, in which we had sold our house and had literally 30 days to find a new place, buy it, and move in. Yikes. It was an extremely stressful time, but we got through it, as we knew we would. At the time, though, it was very scary and angry-making. We'll be unpacking, getting rid of things, and fitting ourselves into our much smaller house for many months to come, but we like this part of town a lot better, and I think we'll be okay here.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Back From Bead Expo

I woke up this morning and found this peahen patrolling our neighborhood. In the picture, she is right under my studio window, beside my house! Portland has quite a few wild peacocks, as it turns out, another reason I love it here. My husband and I, thinking she might belong to someone nearby, went out to try to catch her, but she was way smarter that us, so is still at large in North Portland. I guess they are really just giant chickens, but so beautiful!

Bead Expo, put on by Interweave Press, was here from last Thursday until Sunday, and I was in day-long classes for the entire event. I'm so tired now, but also very, very inspired. All the classes turned out to be excellently taught and very useful. I did my best to take classes that would make me stretch out of my comfort zone and try new and different things, and that might even be a little intimidating or scary. This was an excellent decision! I discovered all sorts of things that I might not have learned if I had just "played it safe," and I will actually use a lot of what I learned instead of thinking, "Oh, that was fun!" but never really doing much with the information. I'm thinking that it would do me a lot of good to approach other aspects of life in this same way, too: stretch out and learn something. I've always felt that, like a shark has to keep moving through the water or die, we have to keep learning and growing or we'll die, too.

Friday, March 21, 2008


I just finished this page, and here it is. I still have to even out the edges, clip a few threads, etc., but I decided to post here and just take the night off. I'll start the next one over the weekend.

It is always so interesting how these thing turn out.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Another Page Begun

Here's the start of the next page. I'm making fair progress on it and hope to have it finished soon, and the next one begun, maybe even before the month is over. I think this is for October...? Anyway, I'm feeling powerfully motivated to work fast, since Portland Bead Expo is only two weeks away!

This page has a lot to do with growing, emotions and events, but feel free, as always, to interpret it any way that works for you. I get a lot of stuff worked out through these pages, but sometimes I don't realize what they mean for me until much later. I've always believed that art is a relationship not only with the art piece and the artist, but the art piece and the viewer, as well. And ultimately, the viewer/art relationship may be the most important.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Another Page Finished

Here's the page, finished at last. Some urgent paying work swept into the house last week, but once that was done, I was able to get back to where I was and finish up. I'll be starting another tonight and/or tomorrow. It was interesting working mainly in greens this time. I wonder what the next piece will be? I'm still a Champion of Behinders, but one of these days, I'll find myself all caught up.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Still Working...

Here is more progress on my page, plus a shot of the very small (3/4 of an inch at the widest part) piece of agate that inspired me to start it. I'm finding the green colors to be very calming and soothing to work with, yet the movement in the design feels very joyful and energetic and makes me want to go out and play -- so I do! I'm hoping to be finished sometime over the weekend and will begin a new page a few days later.

Sometime between now and next Tuesday I'll be taking time out to do a little painting around the house to surprise my husband when he gets back from a conference. It will be nice to have the house to myself (and cats!) for a few days, though I will certainly miss him. I really do like having quiet time all to myself sometimes.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

New Page Started + Corrected Scan

So, I have started a new page, and here is the beginning. I'm basing the design on a beautiful piece of agate that I rediscovered at the bottom of one of the myriad boxes I am unpacking these days.

Also, I'm posting the better scan of my previous page -- sure is good to have the scanner up and running again!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Another One Done

The scanner is not hooked up yet, so this is a quick, not color-corrected snapshot image, but I wanted to post something actually finished after all this time!

I'm slowly getting settled into the new little house and I have a set-up in a separate room with LOTS of light so I can work again. I still have to excavate for beads and supplies down in the basement, and right now I have a slightly limited palette, but it feels so good to be sitting down with needle, beads and fabric. It's cold outside, but I keep warm with cats and hot chocolate as I bead and smile.

The move-in was nightmarish, but we expected that, and now that it is well over and we have kitchen (mostly), bedroom and our office/studios unpacked or in process, things are better. The cats all like the new place, too. We have just finished work on boxing in the back porch and turning it into a small sunroom room especially for the cats. In warmer weather, I hope to do some beading out there, too.

I will post a better pic of this once I get the scanner online.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

BeadExpo - Portland Classes: Me Being Practical -- Really!

I took a deep breath and plexed and plexed, but finally chose my classes for BeadExpo. They are expensive. They are deductible. My husband told me to do it. One 7-hour class per day. Most of them actually involve more metalsmithing than beadwork, and all are geared to things I can just sit down and make, with a minimum of extra tools, specialized equipment, expensive materials, more schooling. I'll be learning Etruscan-style Chain and Ring (wire work), Low-Tech Metalsmithing (working with fine silver, a small butane torch, and NO toxics), Bojangle Bracelet (bead embroidered bracelet), Objects & Elements - Creating Talismans Jewelry (making cold-joined bracelets, etc. with ordinary and found objects and manipulated bits of metal and glass). I already have pretty much all the tools I'll need, and the few I may need to buy are not real expensive. This is my attempt to be more practical in my approach (while still being true to my nature...) and build things that I could actually sell to folks. For money. And I'll be in BeadExpo classes all day, every day, so I won't have much time to spend in the vendor room. As usual, I'll be packing my lunch. Actually, the classes cost just a little less than the money we're saving on the new mortgage every month, and looking at it that way, I can see why my husband is not gritting his teeth over this. :- )

Finally, I'm getting moved into my studio room, and things are generally getting into shape around the house. AND I AM BACK TO BEADING, AT LAST!!!! We've been boxing in our back porch with reclaimed windows from the Rebuilding Center, and it's nearly done and looks great! It will be a mostly sun-filled room that I'm sure will be completely taken over by our cats. But it will give us some more room, and maybe kitties will let us in there from time to time.

Meanwhile... it's still 28F outside. I hope all the critters are keeping warm and safe out there tonight.