Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Whoo Hoo! I wish I knew how to do a screen save - ack, I don't! But I wanted to tell you the wonderful Ms. Mallory Hoffman has included me in an Etsy Treasury!! Thank You Mallory so very much. If you want to take a peek and make a comment here is the link: Lampwork Treasury

Monday, September 21, 2009


It's my skully time of year and I've been making quite a few sugar skulls. Glass ones bedcaue I certainly don't need to be making, or much less eating, real ones. I've been doing some Internet searches and a whole lot of on-line reading lately and I thought I'd pass on a fun blog (Scribbit) I found in my search. I think I first saw this recipe on this blog and I am attaching a copy. I just can not remember, but I thought it was cool enough to pass on. You probably already know this but I didn't and I love brown sugar on my oatmeal. Winter is coming!! Barf.

Homemade Brown Sugar

1-cup white sug1-2 tbsp molasses
Use 1 tbsp molasses for light brown sugar and 2 tbsp for dark

Just mix the two ingredients together. I think you could mix it by hand in a bowl or just do it in a plastic bag and squeeze it. Store in a clean plastic bag or a nice mason jar. Hey, it would be nice for gift giving too!

How simple is that?

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Skully Inspiration in MY STASH

Among the things I like to do when I have time. Time???? Okay, well..., that's a relative term around here. Anyway, what I like to do is quilt. Mostly I think I like the hunt of the fabrics that fit the theme I'm interested in or the color scheme. Then you have to find the perfect quilting pattern that might suit the fabrics you've chosen. It's kind of a chicken or the egg issue. Sometimes you find this killer pattern and the hunt is on. Other times it's the fabric and the it's the pattern that is the secondary find. Either way, in a great quilt they go hand in hand. Matching the two in unison is important. It separates a great quilt that "works" from one that's ho-hum. Art is art no matter what the medium.

This time...it's purely personal. I love sugar skulls - Mexican holidays and color schemes - I have a skull tattoo and I have collected skulls (kind of a biology thing) since I was a kid. I'm a flower child - a DIY'er - a boomer. This is the perfect time of year to find skull themed fabric.

I have found my stash in all kinds of stores. It's like going to bead stores. There is almost always just a little something different in each one from a different manufacturer. I've been in old Ben Franklin's, new Joann's, and some local fabric stores. The hunt is fantastic. The look on customers and clerks faces is priceless.

When I take my purchase to the cutting table there always seems to be a line. Fabric stores are cutting back on employees like everyone else. There is always camaraderie among sewers - just like beadmakers, jewelers, and everywhere people meet with a common interest. We talk in lines while we wait to make our purchases. It never fails. At the moment they look at the fabrics (currently skull related) and they have to say, "Wow, you are going to make a lot of Halloween things." I really wish I had the pink streak in my hair right now. Since I am usually out of town (we only have a Wally World here and I've already scouted the fabric department and made my initial purchases), after the first opening Halloween conversation, I decided to have fun with it. Now my answer to the inevitable of question of what I'm doing with all of THAT -

"No, not Halloween. But, it is my time for year to shop for skullish items . You see - I collect them. It's a kind of garish collection and a family favorite. I've made lots of quilts but we think this is the one the kids will eventually fight over when we pass. We all have skull tattoo's and my kids are a varied lot. Undertakers and crime scene people seem to multiply like rabbits in my family. Uncle Louie was in CSI clean-up. I mean someone has to do it after all. Look I have this cute girlie skull on my back (I pull down my shirt). "


I wonder if they will ever look at a conversation about fabric the same way again.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Creature from the Black Lagoon

The movie called “Creature from the Black Lagoon “came out in 1954. I don’t know when I saw it but I was just a kid. I thought it was the spookiest film I’d ever see…maybe it’s where my aversion to sharks came from. That’s worth a thought or two for a psychiatrists chair some day, NOT! Jaw’s maybe??? Hmmmmmm, I’ll ponder that one on my own.

Excuse the regression but it seems to fit the topic. I’ve been making monster beads for awhile. I make scary ones and cute ones. Mostly I like to think of them as part of a line of beads. Doing “variations on a theme” seems to hit a core need I have to explore the possibilities of a subject. Monsters and other things that go bump in the night have always been with me and probably always will. Recently I enjoyed seeing
Monsters, Inc. with some of the kids at work. We laughed until we were crying. I adored it so I think I’ll get my own copy. I hadn’t seen it until then.

Were you ever one of those kids that put a flashlight in the bed with them? As an adult I’m not quite sure what that would have to protect me but I don’t think a flashlight would be top on my current list. That could actually make you pee your pants – turning a flashlight on and looking close-up into a monsters face. I guess I could have bopped it on his head after the fright he gave me when I flashed the lights in his eye!

I made this monster with warts bead and then noticed how much it reminded me of that first scary movie. I just had to go and find the movie shot of it. See the resemblance? I guess inspiration can just strike you from any angle. Another movie I love is the “
Goonies“Hey you guys……!”. I have got to go and figure out what that characters name was. He fits right along with….Chunk, that was it! Here come the chunk beads. They’ll be part of the Monster Collection. So far we have: Mom’s Little Monsters, Wart Monsters, and now Chunkies.

Onward and Upward!

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Saturday, September 12, 2009

Miller Mania

One of the most fun things I do is take classes. I do it to upgrade my skill set and enjoy the company of other artists and crafts people. One of my favorite teachers is Sharilyn Miller.

She learned her trade from the great (and that should be underlined/bolded/and have neon lights attached) Lynn Merchant. I consider Lynn the mother of all that is wire. If you are tracing back an Earthquake to the epicenter I think somewhere you are going to find this artist at the beginning of some great careers. Including the likes (shameless name dropping here) of Louise Duhamel, Connie Fox, Sharilyn Miller, and a plethora of others.

I’ve been lucky enough to have taken from Sharilyn more than once. She is a west coast girl with a wonderful studio in Idlewild, California. If I could afford the class and the airline ticket I’d fly out there and spend a week. Alas, until that big lottery in the sky hits me with a bolt of lightening I’m SOL. In the meantime she does come out east once in a blue moon. She has been at Portia and Lee Mandrels Gathering Place several times. This time she was at the Bead Weasel, courtesy of its’ great owner Ann Sturdevant.

If you can take a class from Sharilyn, I HIGHLY recommend it. You will never look at wire the same way. She is a master at the twist and turn, using your hands correctly, and the subtle nuisances that make a masterful wire art piece.

If you can’t get to a class then get the next best thing – her books, Bead On a Wire and Contemporary Copper Jewelry, plus you can get on the list for the new one coming up. I know I will be.

Above you can check out a few photos from class. Sharilyn is busy teaching and, of course, that’s me and Sharilyn, and there is one of the bracelets (Sharilyn’s bracelets) we were working to replicate. As soon as I get my clasps on mine I’ll take a photo and share them too.

Thanks Sharilyn for another great class! And to Anne for having the courage to have her stop here on her way to Europe.

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Friday, September 11, 2009

How Time Flies

I've got two weeks of bloggy posts to catch up on....and a ton to say. But first, let me tell you how honored I am to be included in Eileen's Thursday theme. Take a click over there if you get a chance and guess at what the theme is..........

Did I ever tell you that Eileen and I are twins separated at birth? Take a look at our avatars...it's part of how we met. We were both members of LEST. Lampwork, etc.'s Etsy Street Team.

Anyway, this is the beginning of a splurge of blogging so I can catch up with all of the great Artsie stuff going on here. Oh, and while you're visiting Eileen's blog spot don't forget to check out her Etsy too.