Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Closing out 2010

Dear 2010,

You have flown by!  I don't know why, but it seems like just yesterday we were looking forward to you as the new year. 

This year has not only been busy, but full of lots of changes.  Early in the year, I took several workshops at Art and Soul in LasVegas.  I was exhausted after four days of classes, but inspired to make lots of art.  I didn't have near as much time as I had ideas, but did follow through on lots of them, and the list is still there somewhere in my head.

During the month of May we made a wonderful trip to Italy and Greece with our good friends Rick and Cindi.  We were treated to wonderful and unforgettable food, scenery, and experiences   The trip was fabulous and definitely something I would love to do again!

2010, you also brought some great sadness.  My dear friend Peggy Ziebell lost her battle with breast cancer in July.  She was a dear, brave friend and I miss her everyday.

I taught some soldering classes at Embellish and found that I really enjoyed that.  People were really appreciative and it was fun to see them get excited about learning something new.   Working at the Lavender Festival in late June and July was great fun as well. 

After spending a lovely fall at the cabin, I made a trip back to Wisconsin and really lucked out when it came to the fall colors.  I just happened to be there over the "peak" weekend and could not get over the beautiful colors, nor taking pictures of them!  Thank you 2010 for scheduling things that way for me. 

We returned from the cabin in early November and decided to make some "major" changes in our life.   We decided to look at moving to an active adult community called Saddlebrooke.  After looking at the possibility, and finding a house that we liked, we made an offer, bought the house, and put our house on the market.  This all happened in a 3 week period, during which we had company twice, I made a trip to LasVegas and we made a trip to the mountains! 

Needless to say, Christmas really snuck up on us this year.  Because the house was on the market, we didn't do a lot of decorating and that was sort of disappointing.  It's a little hard to get in the Christmas spirit when you are constantly wiping down counter tops, washing mirrors and windows and sweeping the floors.  I think this is the cleanest my house has been for an extended period of time EVER!  I did have a little aluminum tree in my studio and the early morning sun reflected light all over the walls like a disco ball. 

Now as you come to a close, 2010, I look forward to the 2011 and the changes it will bring, but will also look back with fondness, happiness and some sadness on this past year. 

Thank you and farewell.  

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Catching My Breath

Sunflowers - Summer 2010
I honestly don't know how other bloggers can post EVERY DAY! (or even every week!)  Am I too busy, too disorganized, or just plain lazy?  OK, I'll stop beating myself up and get going.

It has been a very busy second half of 2010!  The sunflowers in the mountains were so phenomenal this year I couldn't stop taking pictures!  I have been to Wisconsin to visit family and friends.  We have had visits from Leslie - Stan's sister, JoAnn and Curt - Stan's cousin, Rich- his brother and Kayla and Richie - his niece and nephew.  I've also been to Boulder City to do an arts and crafts show and made several wonderful trips to the mountains.  I taught several classes at Embellish and made 4 large glass vase snowmen for the North Pole Experience in Greer.

To top off all of that, we bought a new house!  We have been talking for some time about eventually moving to Saddle Brooke - an active adult community north of Tucson and decided it was time to see if it was possible.  Well, in that process, we found a house we really liked, and our offer was accepted.  We decided it was "now or never.  So. . . now our house is on the market and we "decluttered" (which really means - get rid of half of all your stuff!) over Thanksgiving weekend.  Now we live in our "decluttered" home with everything neat, tidy, shiny and labeled with little cards that say "granite counter tops, custom lighting, etc. . ." 

Mark, Chris, Brett, Marina & Sadie

Great Blue Heron

I've posted some pictures of the sunflowers, the beautiful fall colors both in Wisconsin and the White Mountains, my visit with the kids, the snowmen and "Doodlebug" Arts and Crafts show in Boulder City. 

Modeling our "monkey" pajamas

Wax/Tissue Paper/Dried Wild Flower Collage

Terry Flat Loop, Alpine AZ

Oh, one more thing that has kept me busy - Unraveling the 439 chains and pendants that I helped Carlanda take apart and reprice!

Doodlebug Boutique December 2010

Friday, July 30, 2010

Big Plans

So. . . I did have big plans to really stay on top of my blog throughout the summer, but here it is July 29 and it's been over a month since I made a post.  To say that a lot has happened since then would be exaggerating.   Most important of all was the loss of a dear, dear friend, Peggy Ziebell.  I knew Peggy for quite a while, but we became closer the last 10 years or so, making art together, quilting, drinking coffee, playing cribbage or bananagrams, making therapeutic shopping trips to IKEA, visiting with both she and Greg (her husband) at our cabin, even playing in the snow, snowshoeing, going on a lavender tour (the husbands were not too excited about that!), birding, participating in basketball pools, eating Frost, collecting buttons and scrapbook paper, etc. .. etc. . .etc. . .
Peggy was diagnosed with breast cancer in August of 2008.  She had a lumpectomy, underwent chemo and radiation, was declared clear and went on with her life.  She, however, was one of the unfortunate ones that had a relapse, and a year later she was told that the cancer had spread to her liver.  She fought another courageous battle with several different chemotherapy treatments, but in late June made the decision to give up the fight.  She was told that her liver was more than half metastasized breast cancer.  Peggy went home and spent her time with family and friends under their care with the support of hospice.  She lost her battle on Thursday, July 22.  I will miss her terribly. . .  This journal page was my small tribute to her life and all the times we shared.  To Peggy. . .

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Oh my gosh, after teaching for 27 years, I decided to teach some more, but something way different this time! I taught two classes last week at Embellish Boutique in Pinetop. After getting some great tips from Sally Jean Alexander at Art & Soul in February, and some more practice with soldering, I was ready to share my limited knowledge. The first class was using a glass bubble and a dictionary definition. We taped and soldered the outer edges and then added the jump rings, and some beading at the bottom - what fun!  Some people even went home wearing their creations!
On Saturday we made glass slide pendants with dimensional objects sandwiched between - a bit on the tricky side, but everyone did a great job.  Most people went home inspired and excited.  What a great group of women.  It was so nice to share the afternoon with them and see their creations.  The photos show a pendant that Trish's (the store owner) aunt made for her!  It has some of Trish's grandmothers jewelry as well as a picture of her grandmother in it.  What a nice surprise and a heartfelt gift for Trish!  I wish I had gotten a better photo of it and more photos of the other pieces.  Next time. . .

Monday, June 14, 2010

Catching Up

I hate to say it again, but where does the time go?  The month of May was spent in Italy and Greece - now I can't complain about that!  It was so. . . beautiful. . . I took nearly 1500 pictures.  Don't worry - I am not going to post them all!  Here is one picture of Tuscany right outside the villas we stayed in.  The scenery was gorgeous despite the "unusual for May" weather we kept hearing about.  Everywhere I turned, I saw a picture and at times had to force myself to just put down the camera and just take it in. 
We spent 5 days in Tuscany and Florence.  We visited beautiful ancient cites and amazing sights in Florence and spent our days eating our way through them.  Our favorite town was San Gimignano, but we also liked Volterra as well.  Castellina, Radda and Siena were also places we stopped. We sampled wines at a vineyard and ate wonderful meals.  It was really dreamlike - especially with the cloudy, overcast and rainy weather!   In Florence, we went to the Duomo, Palazzo Vecchio, Ponte Vecchio, the Uffizi Gallery and the Statue of David at the Academia. 
We tried to find the restaurant in Palazzo Vecchio where Stan had lasagne florentine on his first visit, but couldn't find it.  We asked at several places and finally one waiter said they served it.  When the order came, it was not the same, disappointing, but still delicious!  More on the trip later. . .

Friday, April 9, 2010

Where Does the Time Go??

I honestly don't know where the time goes. More mysterious to me is how do all these people find the time to post on their blogs nearly every day - surely they don't sleep!

I just returned from a visit to see my family in Wisconsin. I had a wonderful time with them all and played with Brett and Marina until I was exhausted. They are at such a fun age. Brett is 5 and Marina is 3. I visited Brett's preschool and danced "Dancing with the Stars" with them both. Marina is such a little "diva". She has a mind of her own and isn't afraid to use it! Can you tell the outfit she has on here was coordinated by her?

Brett didn't want me to leave and tried to build me a house out of Lincoln Logs. He decided that would not be big enough, so was going to wait until Daddy got home to get some wood and build me one in the back yard. How cute is that?

I also spent time with my mom. Her Alzheimer's is progressing slowly-thankfully-and she is handling it so well. It has to be so frustrating for her. She laughs at her self a lot and that is good. As she says, "what else can you do?" She and I spent Easter Sunday with Peggy and the girls. Jenny (we call her "Bridezilla" for fun - she's really not - YET) is so excited about her wedding plans. Crystal and Alicia are rolling along. I didn't get to see them much, but they both drove me to the airport so we had a little extra time to catch up.

My friend Judy and I went to 2 art nights at Persimmons - an art studio and vintage store in Manitowoc. We had a great time making ATC's the first night and then learned some metal stamping techniques the next night. More laughing and giggling - what more could you ask for?

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Art & Soul Week

I am starting to recover from the week I spent in glitzy Las Vegas at the Art & Soul Retreat Workshop. It was a great week and soo. . . inspiring! Carlanda and I took 4 workshops over 4 days. We took the first class with Lisa Kaus and learned some great acrylic/watercolor painting techniques. What fun! The birthday cake above is the piece I did in the class. Once we finished the painting, we collaged some elements on the board and then covered the entire piece with beeswax. Lisa Kaus is really fun and talented. Check out her blog at http://lisakaus.blogspot.com/

The next day we took a jewelry class with Sally Jean Alexander. We started at 10 am and didn't leave until 6:45 pm without a break for lunch! We collaged frantically, taped and soldered and got some great tips from Sally Jean. At 6:45, we gave in and left, but still did not have the final necklace put together. I finally assembled the necklace at home. The final necklace is "convertible" so from the birds down, the lower part can be removed. Check out Sally's blog at http://sallyjean.typepad.com/

The third day, we took a class in wax collage. The instructor, Judy Wise was not able to attend due to health reasons, but someone else took her place. I made the two wax collage pieces pictured here. We used both clear beeswax as well as colored wax, but I didn't use much of the colored wax on either piece. Don't you agree with the bowl piece? Judy's blog is http://www.judywise.com/

Finally, on the fourth day we took a class called Selective Seeing with an amazing artist and writer Stephanie Lee. For this class we had large, personal, poster sized photos that had been converted to black and white. Stephanie demonstrated and explained her technique of focusing on the important or more memorable parts of a photograph and covering or painting out the unneeded or unnecessary. We also learned several transfer techniques for adding to our finished pieces. This piece is unfinished and I have a lot of work to do! Check out Stephanie's blog at http://stephanielee.typepad.com/

Saturday, February 6, 2010

I LOVE this book!

About a week ago, I was standing next to a bargain book bin near the check out at Big Lots. Of course I cannot resist a bargain and was drawn to an unusual looking book with a bright yellow plastic cover. It was one of the strangest books I have ever thumbed through, (including pictures of guns with foreign money for wings!) but I couldn't help thinking what a great book for painting and collage, etc. it would be. Of course I had to buy it!

When I got it home, I started right away collaging with tissue paper, ephemera and paint. I was sort of possessed by it for a while. I did two pages in the next two days and then another. I even woke up early one morning, couldn't sleep and crept to the studio as quietly as I could to work on it! The book has a yellow plastic soft cover and glossy thick pages inside. It is 11X14 and I discovered that I really like a bigger surface to work on.

Anyway, these are some of the pages I did. Now I am cleaning up, organizing some of my jewelry stuff and putting away the things I bought at the Tucson Gem & Mineral Show. I need to get to work on my Paperworks Photoshop Project, my fabric/paper collage project AND my exchange project using image transfer and something vintage. I also need to get ready for my week in LasVegas taking art classes. I guess I am pretty busy! Don't you just love it??

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

New Stuff

Lately I've been busy with many projects, company and everyday life. We have been trying to get to the mountains, but there have just been too many snowstorms to get into the cabin. I had made a few things to sell at Embellish for Valentine's Day and since it was looking like it was going to be awhile before we got there, I put it all in a box and mailed it. Some friends and I have also scheduled a few what we call "Sew Days". On the first day we all made our own quilted purses, and on the second day, everyone worked on their own projects. It's been good to schedule these things so at least we set aside some time for it and we've scheduled some for February as well. Everyone's purses turned out well and there is a picture of us all modeling them with this post. I am really looking forward to Art & Soul in LasVegas and am starting to get my supplies and photographs ready for the classes that I am taking. I sent a list to my BFF Carlanda of all the things I thought we needed and she was disappointed that I hadn't included beer! After that I added beer, martinis, and chocolate to the list.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Time Flies!

What have I been up to? Well, the last month has been very, very busy. I don't know where the time went. Of course the holidays were busy and enjoyable. I did finish 2 quilts that a good friend machine quilted for me. The major accomplishment here is that I started one of them at least 8 years ago!! The other one was started about 3 years ago. I also crocheted a green shawl that is very warm and cozy. So I guess I have been accomplishing something - just no blogging about it.

Now, I'm working on some projects of my own. I made two quilted purses this week and have been doing some collage and possibly some vintage fabric hearts for Valentine's Day. We'll see if these get done.

I have made some art goals for myself this year. Here they are:

*Get published somewhere

*Complete more projects (that is as in FINISH)

*Complete a Photoshop/Collage Project

*Monthly art exchange with my friend Judy

*Post more art to my blog and facebook

Now that shouldn't be too hard. Should it?

Here are some pictures to prove that I have been doing something.