Saturday, December 18, 2010

March 2010 BJP

Here, finally, is my piece for March, 2010. March was quite an intense month, to say the least, complete with drama, a suicide, and all the fallout from that. I'm not sure what this piece says about it all, but here it is.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

November (I think... ) BJP

Even though I haven't been posting, I have been working along on various things. Here's my November BJP. I'm still working on September, October, and December, and of course, the mysterious March is coming right up, too.

November was a month of things being very disconnected from one another and continuity being disjointed. There were too many events, as usual, and a major disaster. We took in a(nother) giant feral cat, and had to replace both our computers, which we'll be paying off for a long, long time. I lost a friend over ethics problems (the ones I had with his ethics). I wrote 50,702 words in NaNoWriMo, making me a winner(!!!) and proving to myself that I could actually do such a thing. I'm not sure how much of all of this is actually reflected in this piece. I found I liked the art deco feel the design took, and the colors appealed to me. You can interpret it however you will.

Materials used were beads of 10, 11, and 15 sizes, and cheap square shell buttons I got free at a crafts conference.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Back from the Void

Last Saturday, my trusty laptop just stopped working, just like that, STOPPED! I've been off the computer and away from the internets until just right now, with the exception of dropping in occasionally to post a little on the FB and check my mail. It was kind of nice and kind of not, but today I took a huge, deep breath and went out early into the cold and rain and picked up a new to me, gently used MacBookPro for a bundle of money, but a whole lot less than new. At the same time, my husband got a new iMac to upgrade his studio, too. Yes, we're in debt for it, which is not where I wanted to be, but at the same time, it will really make working go faster and better around here.

It was surprising to me how much I missed being able to tap into all the free and fast information available with the computer, but somehow I managed to enjoy finishing up a long-delayed knitting project in time for cold days and nights, and actually read a book!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Bruno, R.I.P.

This is one of my favorite pictures of Bruno, taken in July of 2009.

My beautiful friend, Bruno, left this world at around 4:20pm on October 14, 2010. There was just nothing more that we could do for him, and he was in pain and could no longer eat. That morning his mighty strength was failing. We were able to spend about half an hour of special time with him in our vet's Quiet Room, that they have set up for these kinds of times. It's just like a little living room, with plush chairs and a craftsman style table instead of the weird-smelling, windowless exam room with a steel table. He lay in the sun and purred for a bit, then we said, "Goodbye." His passing was easy and Tom and I were with him the whole time. DAMN, but he was a good cat! May you journey, well, Bruno, and rest in the arms of Bast and Sekhmet. You will be welcome wherever you go. We will always miss our friend.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

More Cat Info...

I captured the porch cat last night and took him into the vet this morning. He is negative for FIV/FLV (yay!) and recovering from his neuter operation. The entire staff is in love with him because of his sweet disposition and handsome face. He'll be coming back this afternoon, and then... well, time will tell. ;- )

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I Love This Face!

This is my friend, the Mystery Porch Cat. There are two such cats, actually, but this one has become my friend and likes to pose for pictures.

He comes by every evening for supper and purrs. It took several months to win his trust, but now he's willing to sit in my lap and lets me pick him up. I'll be taking him in to the vet's soon, to be neutered, tested for illnesses, etc., and then I'll have to try and win his trust all over again. Cats never get that this is for their good, and I'm pretty sure I would feel the same.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

My Neighbors' Artichoke

Just beginning to bloom...

Click for bigger...

Thursday, September 2, 2010

August BJP Finished

August was one of those "interesting" months in which I found myself wishing things were different, or had happened otherwise. I wanted to jump over to an alternate world where life was the way I preferred it to be. So... I built myself a time machine and set out upon the waters of time and space. It's literally a time machine, being made from a pocket watch plate, and I incorporated beads of graduated sizes and added a few rhinestones and a couple of sequins. The interesting thing about the watch plate is that all the intricate details on it's surface are never seen by anyone except the person who made the watch and the person who would have to open the watch to make repairs.

Monday, August 16, 2010

July BPJ Done

July was all about expectations, dreams, and hopes, combined with obstacles and events coming right out of nowhere. I learned quite a few hard lessons, but I'm sure it was all for the best.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

My Friend, Bruno

Thursday was Bruno's annual veterinary exam. The vet found a large, scary growth in the back of his throat. He called in the other vets to have a look, and no one had ever seen anything quite like it. They were wondering who among them had the balls to do the surgery, or if surgery was even posible. A needle biopsy was taken and bloodwork, and we've been waiting to hear the results.

Dr. McCoy, our vet, called this evening. He stayed late to get the biopsy report I think. The news is very bad. Bruno has a squamous cell carcinoma in the back of his mouth, firmly attached to his soft palate. All we can do is make him happy and obey his every command until he can't eat any more. In other words, just carry on like normal... Better to know than not. And at least Bruno won't have to put up with surgery. I don't know how long this will take, but we'll give him the best end of life that we can. And I'm not going to miss him until he's gone.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Nope, No School For Me

No school for anyone who is not independently wealthy. I'm heartbroken. I could have done so much there. I would also have gotten health insurance through them. Wonder what that would have been like... ? Once and for all I have FINALLY learned this lesson: the only value we have in this culture is how much money we have. All your ideals, all your goodness, ethics, sense of "fair play", FORGET IT! Money is all. Having learned this, my life is no different, but when/if I am in a position to grab anything, anything at all, you can bet I will. I advise y'all to do the same.

I got my financial "aid" letter. They'll let me take out $12,181 in loans and grants for the year. The grant is for $2,268. The rest is interest-bearing debt. They expect me to come up with the other $11,458 on my own. Guess they think it will fly out my butt. I have never even made that much money in a year in my whole life. You know that quote, the one about "Never let lack of money keep you from doing what you want to do?" I believe it was originally coined by bankers and credit card companies. It is your first-class ticket on the Debt Train. I can't get on that train any more. I can't take on tens of thousands of dollars of debt, which I'd be paying into my 90s. When they say "we can make this happen," IT IS A TOTAL LIE!

NOT INTERESTED IN HEARING that, oh, life's not really that way, oh, you can learn all that on your own, oh, you can just take classes, goodness is it's own reward, etc., etc., etc. IT IS NOT TRUE. If I could learn all that on my own, I WOULD HAVE. Schools have equipment I can't afford and don't have room for, and instructors with first-hand knowledge, and that's invaluable. Individual classes are too expensive for me. I doubt I'll ever be able to go to those again, or at least not for the foreseeable future. Goodness just gets you poorer and kicked in the teeth. These have been hard lessons to learn, but I have finally learned them well.

Comnments have been disabled. I don't really care what anyone thinks right now.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Yay! Most Excellent News!

I just found out I've been accepted to the Oregon College of Art and Craft!!!!! The beadwork I've been doing for the BJP had a lot to do with my getting in, I believe. This is something I've been working on for awhile, getting all my transcripts sent, putting together a portfolio (hard work!), filling out forms... I'm completely thrilled! Continuing my arts education will help me get my work up to that next elusive level. I'll be in the Certificate Program, with my main concentration in fibers, but the school requires that students study LOTS of different crafts. It will be very challenging to go here -- they have a very rigorous program -- but I'm sure I'll love every minute of it. Art school has long been a dream of mine. Next, of course, comes the Big Question: How am I going to pay for this?? But right now, for today, I am delighted and happy.

In other news, I heard some strange noises out on my front porch early this morning and was able to snap this quick shot through the livingroom blinds. This should prove that we are NOT feeding cats out there!

Friday, July 9, 2010

This Pie's So Good It Is A Crime

This here is one of the most outstanding things I've seen in forever!

Here Are Some Drawings...

Here are a couple of drawings, one I rediscovered, one I drew very recently. I'm trying to get down to the simplest renderings of things. You can click on the images to make them bigger.

Black and White + Red - 3 x 5

Maya - 9 x 12

I feel extremely inadequate with drawing, and much prefer other media.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

June BJP Page Done

Here's my June page. I wanted to see what would happen if I incorporated some stone beads, and the jade donut and kyanite blade-shaped beads came to hand. This is about some of my feelings about early Summer, when the weather is getting very warm and there is still a lot of growth and energy as some plants are blooming and some begin to show fruits that start to ripen. Everything feels so alive!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Now That's What I'm Talking About!

The Boston Cooler, best way to cool off on a hot day. Vernor's Gingerale, vanilla ice cream, and it's all good.

Boston Cooler!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Time To Get Up

This is how I wake up every morning, with the help of my kitty, Emily, who is feeling much better now:

This morning I snapped a quick picture, but that won't stop her. When she says it's time to get up, it's time to get up!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I Like Old Cars

These were taken with Tom's little Nikon Coolpix L10, which I can never quite get the hang of... My framing is always off because looking at the back of the camera to compose a shot is just... wrong to me.

I hope to find this car again (it often lurks across the street from Beaterville Cafe, my favorite breakfast spot) and take more pix.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

May Page Done

Here's my May page. As always, it is subject to interpretation as you wish. To me, it's about moving through time/space toward a future (the sunrise), having to rely on a whimsical universe to get me there, or somewhere. The 5 moons could be possibilities, or just mean that it is May. I'm not thinking too deeply about this one, I just liked the image that appeared of a cat riding on a fish.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Emily Update

Emily did wake up hungry (and thanks for your kind wishes about that, Anita!) but not until this morning. Yesterday I was able to coax her into eating a small amount of her very favorite fish, and this morning she was demanding more, and ate most of it. She's still ill, but it looks as if she's on the way to feeling a lot better. It's still day by day, but her energy has improved greatly. I'm less worried and more happy.

Friday, May 28, 2010

My Friend, Emily

I took this picture at 12 noon Thursday, the 27th.

Emily is not going to eat. She hates her potassium supplement gel. She's not going to drink, either. So there. Right now she's hiding under and behind our bed, so from now on no medications or food will be given to her in there. The bedroom can be Emily's perfect safe place.

Roughly a year ago, Emily was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism. She's not a cat who will take pills, but we were keeping her weight up by giving her a few smaller meals throughout the day. She was at 4lbs and 6oz at that time, and we had managed to slowly get her weight over 5lbs and she was doing well, though always a picky eater. About a week and a half ago, her weight suddenly started to drop and she stopped eating much, began throwing up, then sopped eating altogether. We took her into the vet's for treatment on Tuesday, then again for a recheck today. She hadn't eaten, except for a few teaspoons of baby food that I had to put onto her tongue to get her to swallow. She's now so thin and angular, she looks like a very old, very ill cat. The change has been shocking and scary.

I don't know what will happen from now, if she'll wake up tomorrow, hungry and willing to eat. She would not eat anything this evening. Our veterinarian, Dr. McCoy, gave her a shot of vitamin B-12 and some cortisone, to stimulate her appetite and give her some energy. According to the vet, if this doesn't get her to eat, it is unlikely that anything will. She got another 100cc of fluids, and we'll be giving her 100cc here once or twice a day, even if she tries to kill us, and she will. It looks like she's in kidney failure, and at 10 years old, that's a little early in her life for that, but each cat is different and sometimes has unfortunate surprises for us. I'm giving her reiki, of course, but from a distance right now. Hands-on reiki seems too much for her. I've known Emily since she was a month old, a little wild kitten in McLaren Park in San Francisco. I don't want to lose my friend, and I don't want to watch her die, but it never matters what we want in these cases -- it is all up to the cat.

I'm all tired out by now, and worried. Tomorrow I'll treat myself to a day of working on my BJP page. It will be soothing to work with beads and colors.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

It's JackBoots!

Click image for bigger

He's not just for breakfast, any more!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Life Going On...

I've been looking at schools for the past few weeks, with a view to learn a skill that will get me some kind of paying employment. So far I've seen hair design/cosmetology schools, culinary schools, community college programs in interior design, graphic design, and the like, and last of all art schools with similar programs. A lot of what I run into is that many of the design and career programs in these schools want me to get a BA or BFA degree, which I have zero interest in doing. I want to learn something and go do it, and not be bogged down with extraneous classes that someone else has decided I need to take to be "well rounded." I hated that kind of thing in my twenties, and I am unwilling to put up with it now. I've been leaning strongly toward baking and pastry, which is a science and an art. It could be cool, making beautiful loaves of bread early in the morning...

Yesterday, at my husband's insistence, I went over to the Oregon College of Arts and Crafts for a look around. They offer several programs, including a 3-year studio-based Certificate program, which is all about developing and improving studio skills, and a minimum of other kinds of classes. It was a big mistake to go there, and I regret it intensely. If ever there were a perfect place and learning environment for me, Oregon College of Art and Craft would be it. They not only have all the different fields, and all their associated toys equipment, they strongly encourage learning at least something about pretty much everything. When I told the admissions person that I had a hard time limiting myself to just one thing, and that I thought all media could fit together, she said, "You've just stated the philosophy of this school." *Sigh...* Art school is wrong, and impractical, and way, way, WAY too expensive. At the end of it, I'd be an independent artist, with a huge debt, and right now I'm an artist with much less debt. It would allow me to really explore my options in fiber, metals, design, photography, and more, if I wanted to check out woods, ceramics, or book arts, or even blacksmithing. The class sizes are very small, which ideally suits my learning style. And they teach textile design! Art school would help me to get that professional finish on my work that I so want to achieve, and will connect me up with galleries and the like. I went over there hoping to hate the place, and that's impossible -- it is an absolutely beautiful campus and very, very well equipped with pretty much everything you'd need to learn whatever you're interested in learning. The people who work there and go to school there love it. You know how it is when you arrive at a place that is just right and you know you belong there... ? My heart is completely broken. There is NO MONEY FOR THIS, nor will there ever be.

I'm now working on May BJP page, which I'll finish tonight or tomorrow. It's been going okay, fitting it in between other events and paying work. I hope to retro-fit March in pretty soon.

I have to find some way to come up with a house payment and payment for some bills, after emergency ($$) denti$try for Tom and emergency vet visit for Emily Cat ($$) this week, and my getting a pass to the Summit of Awesome conference before the other two things occurred... We're in yet another state of dire financial suspense, wondering about where the house payment will come from, etc., and I'm thinking about a 3-year, full time arts program against all common sense. It is time for fear and panic, if anything, and yet I'm feeling kind of... bubbly and relaxed today. Maybe I've lost all my grip on reality, or I'm just living up to my potential for irresponsibility.

Sunday, May 16, 2010


It's another no sleep night. But it's warm and the cats have stopped arguing, and I'm wanting to take out some beads and do something with them. My blank piece of cloth with the 3" x 3" square marked on it is lurking next to the printer, and I'm feeling restless in that way I get when it's time to do artwork -- even if that time is nearly 5am and I'm starting to see things blurry. I think a lot of things will get clearer in my mind while I work on something. Looking through the latest issue of Beadwork, which is 98% necklaces, earrings, and bracelets and not much embroidery, inspires me, mainly, I think, with color and materials choices. That kind of got me thinking about beading a piece right about now, and I started looking through reference books, and now I'm looking at that empty piece of cloth...

I'm at that place where I'm restless and wakeful, just on the point of starting something new, but not ready, quite, to place that first bead, take that first stitch. It's an interesting and jittery place to be, kind of exciting, kind of hesitant, very familiar. Tom and I had planned to go out Sunday, but that was before I paid the bills. I'll take that time we would have gone out to work on art. But I'll set up my beginning now, before I sleep, clearing space, pulling out colors I may or may not use, picking out stones, or charms, or random pieces of whatever I come across in my storage drawers. I'll pick something up, and sew it down. Maybe I'll still like it there tomorrow, and maybe not, but I will have started a new piece, at last.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

April BJP

I'm still working on March, but here's April. Usually I go for the deep, intense colors, and this time I found myself using lighter colored beads, and watch parts. And again, I'm not sure whether this is actually the right way up. It's always subject to change without notice. In some way, this is all about my birthday -- the actual day of my birth, not the anniversary. This isn't something I generally give much thought to, and I don't even celebrate my birthdate at all, but I've been having to look at life and death lately, so this idea came up as I worked. I'm not sure what I'm trying to tell myself right now, though. This piece was enjoyable to work on throughout, which is different. Usually I really dislike a piece as I work through the middle part, and may not warm to it until it's all finished. I think that the colors refreshed me. :- )

Saturday, April 17, 2010

I'm almost afraid to write that things may be settling down around here... Just in case they really haven't...! The days are getting warmer, and my husband and I are enjoying being out on our front porch again, now cleared of rubble and boxed trash, and it's 7:30pm and the sun is still out. Calm is definitely good, and just what we have been needing, even though we have only had a few days of it.

Tonight I'll be working in on either March or April BJP, depending on where the beads take it (it's undecided at this point and could go anywhere), and that is making me feel happy. I'm also going to start a small jewelry project with some watch parts and see where that goes. Up until now there has been just too much catching up to do, and I'm longing for more art in my life.

Meanwhile, life goes on. It is still and always a refreshing relief to pull up into our driveway and not have Kevin's ugly, decrepit van and pile of trash there. And we'll be ever perplexed about Jiji/Irene and her suicide. I'm pretty sure that unless you have been there (and I have not), there is no understanding it, and maybe not even then, since we all do things for very different reasons. The pieces will never all fit together, but it is still a source of speculation and probably will be for some time.

Pretty soon I'll whip up some spaghetti for our dinner, and/or feed the cats. If it stays warm enough, we'll eat out on the porch.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Suicide: It is Not Painless, But It Does Cause Many Changes

Someone I did not like, a former friend, Jiji McClintock, known also by her previous name, Irene Kerth, killed herself Tuesday, March 16, by jumping off a very picturesque bridge in my neighborhood, the St. Johns Bridge. Google it -- it is really a lovely bridge. She did this around 6pm, knowing, I guess, that someone would see her. She left 3 cats, a frog, and an apartment full of junk. I hope she made the right decision, because there are no do overs after you smack into that hard, hard river.

How I found this out was that the county Medical Examiner called here for Tom, on behalf of Jiji's not-quite-ex-husband, Jon. Of course, Tom was out of town, and wasn't due back until Wednesday, the 17th. Her car had to be claimed or it would be impounded with much trouble and expense. So, off I went, with my step-brother, Kevin, to pick up the car. He was all worried and paranoid about it being a police matter but, really, they could not have been more indifferent to the whole thing. The car now sits in our driveway. Tom's in shock, Jon's in shock, especially since this divorce was full of ugliness. There was harassment, I guess, and general unwillingness to cooperate.

I went over to her place to check on her animals, 3 cats and a frog, who were all okay, but lonely and wondering what was going on. I made sure the cats were safe, cleaned their box, checked on water, fed the frog, who was ravenous.

Jiji's suicide note, generally blaming Jon, her not-quite-yet ex-husband, was left on her bed alongside an unsigned Will. I assume that signed copies were mailed to the heirs. She said that she lied to everyone and had planned this for some time because her heart, spirit, trust, and dreams had been broken and would never mend. She was going to a therapist, according to her LJ blog entries. She may have had cancer, and chose to do nothing about it for lack of money, though her insurance was still good till the end of this month. She left short messages for people, including Tom. Including me. Her message to me was not kind, but it was what she saw and believed about me. In it she said I have a big heart and great strength, but was angry and bitter (well, that is true sometimes), jealous, fearful of the unknown, and that I'm lonely and friendless because of it. And that's what drove her away. Maybe, maybe not. I don't feel particularly lonely. Her last sentence tells me to get help and stop tormenting Tom with my insanity. Well, there you go. From my viewpoint, the emotional blackmail I experienced from her, and the fact that she stole a bunch of money from Kevin, is why I cut her out of my life. She left a very sweet and personal message to Tom, which I will not quote here because it is for him, but her last sentence to him is, "I love you." She had some really lovely things, and some really nasty things to say to other folks, who I don't know.

I wasn't sure what would happen next, other than get in touch with Jon in the morning, go make sure the cats were okay, maybe talk to the landlord if he was there. I had planned to bring the cats and froggie here, but they were better where they felt safe, at least for the time being. In fact, a young woman who is experienced in animal rescue came and took the cats up to Seattle with her. Jon will take the frog. There will be a lot of packing, shipping, loading, whatever in the next couple weeks, and maybe I'll be able to avoid some of that... But I guess the apartment has to be vacant by April 1st.

And I'm not really sure how I feel about this. Monday night I was thinking that I know someone that I don't like (Jiji) who may be seriously ill, and how did I feel about that? I came up kind of blank. And that's where I am right now. Kind of blank. She made this decision, carried it through, and there's quite a mess left behind to be picked up, as I guess there always is when something like this happens. I sure wish she'd left a contact list somewhere with the Will and final note, so I could get word out to them, especially to the adoptive mother of her daughter, who really needs to know about this, and how to tell the daughter, who is presently under care in a mental hospital. This will be really hard on them. And I know it's really hard on Tom. But me... just blank. I'll be percolating it for some time, I think.

Sometimes suicide is the right choice, despite the advice of all the experts, and I hope this one was the right choice. Sometimes we think to do this and don't. Sometimes we try it out because we just want the pain/fear/desperation to go away. This is conjecture on my part. I've never been there. If any of you make this decision, PLEASE think of the people you leave behind and leave them clues how to reach each other, and what to do next. Think of your animal friends and make some real provisions for them
before you step out into the big nothing. They can't speak for themselves and the law considers them just property to be disposed of. If you won't change your mind, remember the ones who care for you, who will have to clean up after you, and make it a little easier on them.

Most of this week has been spent helping to sort out Jiji's effects, make sure things are put aside for people named in her Will, getting the cats all squared away and taken care of, retrieving furniture we loaned to her, and things like that. I've met some of her friends, which has been very enlightening. This whole last year she pushed a lot of people away from her, it turns out. Some of them saw the craziness long before Tom did.

Since we had ended our friendship most definitely, it's quite ironic that here I am, having to do all this stuff for/with her estate. Somewhere, if there's a somewhere, she's getting a laugh out of that. I can not understand the decision she made to end her life, but I respect it.

Since then, I threw my step-brother, Kevin, out of our driveway and out of our lives. This was a long time coming, and good riddance to a load of trash. What got me angry was that he stole a Wii game system from Jiji's house after she died. What made me throw him out was his self-righteous refusal to return it, insisting that he was "owed" and only he was important here. I pointed out that he was, in fact, stealing from Jiji's daughter, a young woman currently in a boarding school for troubled youth. And also, he owes Tom and I way more than Jiji took and has never once looked for work or made any attempt to pay us back, or even pay token rent. He always had plenty of money to buy his cigarettes, though. There was quite an intense fight, that nearly got physically violent because I was so furious. I finally threw his full ashtry all over him and his stuff in the van, he tossed silverware and jars of peanut butter and old cans out into the yard. There was a lot of yelling, swearing, and general invective. I got the house key back, cut off his power, handed back his iPod, and that afternoon (Wednesday, just before Tom got back from Detroit) he got someone or other to haul him and his ratty van the hell away from here. I told him he could call to arrange to pick up the rest of his huge pile of stuff. THE END. I feel like I just lost 135 lbs of useless flab in an instant. Because I did.

Some major changes have taken place in my life just now, some perplexing and tragic, some very positive. My emotions have been, and still are, all over the place, but I'm sure that's normal and a good thing.

March BJP may be late, but I have a lot to think about and more to do right now. I'm hoping for a long stretch of boring, uneventful days and months ahead, but I do not see anything like that coming. I'm buckling my seatbelt for that bumpy ride ahead.

And now... back to work.

Monday, March 8, 2010

February BJP

I've been finished for a few days, actually, but just now finally photographed it. It's called Toxic Runoff, and is about all the emotions and events that sometimes send me into overwhelm, at least momentarily. I wanted to go back to a very simple technique, using only size 11 and 10 beads to tell this complicated story. In pictures of actual runoff, the chemicals can be quite striking and even beautiful with unexpected colors and flow, but they are actually poison. That's what I was trying to get at with the different bead colors. Even in the midst of this, though, there are still some clear and unpolluted parts, as indicated by the bright silver beads, symbolizing a small sections of clear and calm thinking among the runaway emotions. February was a more "interesting" month that I wanted. :- ) I'll be starting in on March soon, which, so far, has been much calmer.

Monday, March 1, 2010

It's Ramon!

This is just a random shot, and not in perfect focus, but it catches his general attitude perfectly. There he is on the bathroom cabinet, where he is not supposed to be. Click the image to see a giant, soft focus cat.

I'm working away on my February BJP, and will be done this week, I believe. But right now... I only got 5 hours sleep because I stayed up so late last night beading. Time to crash.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Watchworks Are So Beautiful!

This is an old, broken pocket watch. Earlier today I spent 5 minutes with this watch movement, a little Mr. Metal metal cleaner/polish, and paper towels, and a final once-over with a jeweler's polishing cloth. It started out very dull and grey-brown, but cleaned up so nice! It amazes me how much detail was put into the inside of a watch, which people generally did not see. This watch will never run again, and most of the parts inside, those that are left, are pretty well corroded. According to the person I bought it from, it spent something like 45 years in a box in a garage somewhere. I'm going to make it the centerpiece for something, and it will be part of an art piece. I shot this in my new mini-studio, a Rubbermaid translucent file box ($7.99 at Freddy's) with a couple of swing-arm lamps, one on either side, daylight (cool white) CFLs in each. I shot it with my 50mm dark 'n' contrasty f2.8 macro manual focus lens. There is still much perfecting to do with this system, and I really prefer overcast daylight to shoot, but it came out fairly decent overall. Obviously I need a better background to shoot against than a beading cloth, but it's early days yet. I just wanted to see how it would turn out.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Good Stuff in the Mail...

I've been under the weather a bit with a low-level cold that will not leave. But there's nothing like getting a bunch of old keys in the mail (eBay find) to cheer me up... Some of these are quite old, some are not, but they're all interesting and will, sooner or later, be part of art pieces.

I particularly like this one:

I've been getting rest and will continue to do so, while drinking lots of juice and enjoying the company of purring cats. That and a little ice cream will have me feeling better in no time.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Spiffing Up

Every few months it comes time to clean the studio, put those things away I was leaving out "just for a bit, in case I want to get back to them...", put the magazines on their shelf where I actually know I can find them when I need to look up something or other for reference, toss out old mail and misc. items, and/or put misc. items into the "interesting art bits" drawer. It's an annoyance to think of before I start, but really doesn't take that long (my studio room is little) and is quite easy. Mainly I don't like the idea of having to do it. XD Anyway, today is that day. As is usual, the secret real reason this gets done on a remotely regular basis is that I do it to avoid doing something else, as in, "I can't possibly get anything done with the room like this!" This ignores the fact that I got plenty done in here yesterday, and yet the room was just the same as it is now. After it's all cleaned and finished, and surfaces are rediscovered and all, things feel more spacious in here, and that makes me smile, plus, I'm so bored with the cleaning and organizing that whatever I was avoiding seems very attractive.

I'm starting to think about my February BJP page, which I plan to start sometime in the next week or so. I have my empty square up on my bulletin board, beads at the ready, and thread and needles waiting. There are a few things I have to accomplish first, and paying work to get done and out of the way, but I'm already getting excited to get started. January was a lot of fun to work on. I wonder what will appear on the page for February?

Friday, January 29, 2010

January Page

January done, and on time, too. :- ) This is all about bringing joy into my life and setting the vibration for the new calendar year, which is full of surprises and delights. I used colors that were bright and joyous to me, and also symbolized prosperity and abundance.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Cold and Rainy Here...

That makes it good weather to be beading away on my January BJP piece, which is coming along a little slower than I'd hoped, but it will be finished soon.

Here's two of my cats keeping warm. I wish I could climb in and curl up with them. I have to settle for getting up close and personal with the little space heater next to my desk. :- P That's Curtis Junior on the left, Herbert on the right.

Herbert and Curtis Junior Keeping Warm -2_ 1-24-10

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


I got the 2010 Rio Grande Tools and Equipment catalog today -- jewelry tool porn! I love going through and looking at all the stuff, the mutant extraterrestrial pliers, hammers, bizarre tweezers, strange machines, fascinating saw blades, dapping blocks, draw plates, vacuum forming machines, torches, kilns, and... This thing keeps me entertained for hours, and is one of the highlights of the new calendar year. And it came at the right time -- I happen to need some new bizarre tweezers. :- ) Lucky for me, they are inexpensive.

Monday, January 4, 2010

January BJP Started

I have started in on my January piece, but it's not far enough along to post an "in progress" pic just yet. There are some beads I want to use, but I put them... somewhere and now all my searching has not turned them up. If I go buy some more, they will magically reappear. If I keep looking, I'm not likely to find them. This is typical for me and my studio, and it has been this way forever. Usually if I can't find what I want, I discover something even better to use, that I would never have thought of otherwise. It will be interesting to see what I come up with.