Saturday, May 29, 2010

Memorial Day

No, it's not the exact day yet but it is the weekend. A beautiful weekend here in Michigan. Warm on the face, good for the heart, noises of company in the yard. But, it's also a weekend to remember why I get to do all of these things.

I remember my father, he served in WWII - a Navy man who talked of war rarely, but enough so you got the idea that it wasn't fun and shouldn't be taken lightly. I think about a young boy from high school - his last name will forever be stamped in my brain. I wasn't yet graduated and he was killed in Vietnam. I knew of Vietnam. I knew of Vietnam when Eisenhower was President. Seems odd, right? Not if you were kid living near an Air Force base. We were involved even then - my friends parents were involved flying helicopters and jets. It was frightening, but otherworldly. You're a kid. And, it wasn't until much later that we started to get reels of film and still shots of that war. By then I was older and my friends were now involved - drafted - volunteering - doing what their fathers had done or were doing.

Now it's another war, only the geography has changed but somewhere there is a kid not unlike I was. It's Memorial Weekend and they're hearing the same things I am right now. And later, much much later - they're going to remember their friends and fathers on this weekend.

I don't know about this whole war thing anymore. The world is getting smaller and I don't want to hate anyone enough that I think they should be dead. And, I don't want them thinking we should either. Maybe it's just the day and the remembering but I want to believe that at some point there won't be another war because I think Einstein is right.

I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones. - Albert Einstein

The flag above is in honor of Terry, my Dad, and all of the millions (including some I know and love) who have served in this countries military. I may not agree with war but I most certainly support you and our troops.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Over Dose on ETSY

You know I love Etsy. I look at everyday. So this news was exciting for me, so I had to share.
PicClick has an Etsy browser - it makes getting your choice of eye candy (or just plain shopping)very easy. You just search up at the top and watch the things you love most come together on one screen. It is actually kind of fun to think of new searches and see what the screen shot looks like.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Speaking of Bugs!

It looks like this year is going to be a bumper crop of tent caterpillars. They are so gross! They defoliate the trees and when they are bad you can't go outside without stepping on them.....ick! Here, where I live, they are active in spraying for the little "bug"gers to keep them under control. So today, ur...on Saturday we got to get a wing wave from one of our favorite bug zappers. He puts on quite the show when he sees the neighborhood outside. I hope the stuff he sprays is non-lethal to humans because I was wearing it for perfume when he was done. And, I missed the good shot....once he saw the camera was out he did a fly by right directly over our heads. I pressed the button and the camera closed. The battery had died. Maybe I'll get him next year.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

What's Bugging You?

Let's not get me started! I'm dealing with insurance issues....and I hate it. But in the spirit of trying not to be tooooooo bugged by it all I made this little fairy bug. Now this type of being bugged I wouldn't mind.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Welcome to the Metal Head!

As my friends might say - It's about *%^*%g!!! time Sharon! In about what seems like a gazillion years ago I used to participate in Art Fairs around the country with my jewelry. It's actually how I met quite a number of my friends. For awhile now I'd list a finished example here and there on Etsy in my designer components store (Right Turn Art Werks) for handmade beads and other goodies. They've just seemed plain out of place there and it didn't seem to be the best place for my finished silver work.

Well, I'm branching out under the ARTWERKS logo and opening a sister store, MetalWerks. Nothing in stock as of yet - but it won't take me long. In Metalwerks you'll be seeing a myriad of finished jewelry pieces. As to what you will be seeing in Metalwerks...think mixed media. I work in all metals, I cast and fabricate. I'm a Certified PMC Instructor and resin is something I've taught and might incorporate. The design will be dictating the technique. Even feathers, my beads, and horsehair might show up - who knows!

Whatever it will be new - and it will include some exclusive designs. If you can fabricate and cast you are a lucky devil indeed, since you won't always have to use the standard clasps. charms, or generally available components all the time! And, your customers won't be getting the same ol'- same ol'. Handmade beads - metal - resin - art clay - found objects -

Oh HORSE FEATHERS! You get the picture.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

I’d like to introduce you to someone I’ve met through the Internet. Her name is Victoria Halldorson and she had purchased several of my heart bead sets. Hearts are one of my very favorite things to make and maybe Vicki has picked up on that. She certainly has done them proud in her work.

Vicki’s home base is in Vancouver, Canada. In some places around the United States visiting Canada is just a normal kind of thing. For us here in Michigan it’s like our “Europe”. We are close to the Canadian border and as I was growing up we did a lot of traveling in or through Canada as we drove to the Eastern United States. Windsor, Toronto, and Niagara Falls, are just some of beautiful places in between our trips to Rochester, New York.

Vancouver is Western Canada, for those who don’t know. But, who couldn’t after this year’s Olympics. I haven’t been fortunate enough to travel in that area or the Western United States for that matter. All I can say is, from what we were able to witness this past year on television broadcasts from the Winter Olympics it looks like a destination visit to dream for.

Thanks Vicki for loving my hearts, making such beautiful necklaces from them; and, for the act of kindness to a stranger. I have a beautiful pair of red Olympic mittens with that unmistakable Canadian Maple leaf in the palm. And this winter I will be the one smiling from ear to ear in the snow and cold with my Columbia Red coat and matching mittens.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Oh For Pete's Sake

I thought I'd show you what a Michigan tulip looks like this time of year. They're up, they're down - they can take a lickin' and keep on tickin' but today the poor babies are laying down on the job. "Come on you guys, you're not orchids - perk up, we're all cold right now."

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day


A man loves his sweetheart the most, his wife the best, but his mother the longest. ~Irish Proverb

Sweater, n.: garment worn by child when its mother is feeling chilly. ~Ambrose Bierce

If evolution really works, how come mothers only have two hands? ~Milton Berle

Friday, May 7, 2010


She was always drawn to fire. What was it about that? Maybe the scar on her arm from the burn could offer an explanation. Or, the way she jumped when she heard the hiss of propane.

“Are you coming up for dinner?” He yelled to her. She didn’t hear him. The heat of it all was calming. Today, like always, the flame mesmerized her. It carried her away.

That explains it for me. I don't know that my writing is any good but I wanted to try it. The genre' is a form called Flash Fiction. If you'd like to see some from a person who is good at it try Janel Gradowski. Just do the "click thing" on her name and it will take you to her blog....Janel's Jumbles. I met Janel a long time ago. She's a friend, an author for many publications of bead patterns (which she teaches), an all around great person, and now a flash fiction writer. Hey, when you got it - flaunt it! Her blog is full of fun things. not just fiction - as if that wasn't enough.

And just incase you are new to this flash fiction stuff here is some Winkepeadia info on the topic and some places where you can use that New York minute and read some.

"Wink" explanation of Flash Fiction:

Flash fiction is fiction of extreme brevity. There is no widely accepted definition of the length of the category. Some self-described markets for flash fiction impose caps as low as 300, while others consider stories as long as 1000 words to be flash fiction.

The term "flash fiction" may have originated from a 1992 anthology of that title. As the editors said in their introduction, their definition of a "flash fiction" was a story that would fit on two facing pages of a typical digest-sized literary magazine, or about 750 words.

Flash fiction differs from a vignette in that the flash-fiction might contain the classic story elements: protagonist, conflict, obstacles or complications, and resolution. However, unlike the case with a traditional short story, the limited word length often forces some of these elements to remain unwritten, that is, hinted at or implied in the written storyline. This principle, taken to the extreme, is illustrated in a possibly apocryphal story about a six-word flash allegedly penned by Ernest Hemingway: "For sale: baby shoes, never worn."

Some Zines to read the fiction or interesting fiction facts:

Flash Fiction

Writing World

Vestral Review

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Where Have All The Beads Gone?

It’s a Small World!

Yeah, it was a catchy tune but after a while I just wanted it to go away because it was stuck in my head and replaying like a broken record. Are you humming it now? Lately I’ve been thinking about that song.

Do you remember when that song first came out? I didn’t. I knew it felt like a lifetime ago but I couldn't place it chronologically. I was pretty close to that inital thought. It originated with the 1964 New York World’s Fair. After the fair closed it was moved to Disney and did its debut (1966) with the refurbished song we all remember. That song was actually written during the wake of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Yes, it was almost a lifetime ago.

It all happened long before we became the computer savvy people we are today. I still reel with the thought that I can talk in “real time” via electronic mail or instant message with someone I have never met in a country on the other side of the globe. It just blows me away. I’d of never thunk it back then. A small world…..I thought NOT.

So what made me so nostalgically remember that song? This week I’ve sent out beads to South America – Chile, The Netherlands, Austria, and Canada. I guess I’m feeling just a tad global. It’s not like I’m McDonald's – billions served here but it tickles me to think of handmade lampwork beads all over the globe.

About six months ago I even sent one to Russia – Moscow to be exact. One set of my grandparents were from Russia. They never thought they would see this global economy. They thought the iron curtain would be forever strong. I wish they were around to see this – to read the information in Russian that had been translated over the Internet for me.

Where are your beads traveling to? Some fellow bead makers beads are going to fly in a space shuttle above our world! How grand that will be. And how wonderful they will be given to the Beads of Courage project for children fighting cancer.

Just beads….out there circling the globe on land and in the air! It’s a small world after all Walt. You were right!


It's a world of laughter, A world of tears. It's a world of hopes, And a world of fears. There's so much that we share, That it's time we're aware, It's a small world after all.

It's a small world after all. It's a small world after all. It's a small world after all. It's a small, small world.

There is just one moon, And one golden sun. And a smile means, Friendship to every one. Though the mountains divide, And the oceans are wide, It's a small world after all.

It's a small world after all. It's a small world after all. It's a small world after all. It's a small, small world.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Color Me Orange

What color are you drawn too? Are you a warm hue person ? A cool one? Do you like gray? There are about a gazillion shades of gray (both warm and cold) - uh, and once at the Kmart paint section when they were touting Martha Stewart paints there must have been fifty shades of white. It's something to consider when we're creating. You can always warm or cool a color down by the addition of something mixed with it - or something placed next to it. I know if I use my favorite color in beads - Orange - they often sit there awhile until that orange lover comes around. It's not a color that everyone is drawn to. I think by now everyone knows why they painted McDonald's in Yellow and Red - and Shell Gas Stations. It's the hurry up/ be happy/ get it and go color scheme.

Now here's a funny one. My Dad used to have this little mantra he used to say to my daughter. It was like grandpa brainwashing. He used to tell her that green was her favorite color. He'd repeat this, yes - kind of mantra singy song style. A,nd along with that he'd add diamonds are a girls best friend, never be the nurse when you can be the doctor....and on it went. Wasn't he grand? And, way ahead of his time. She does kind of like green. Maybe it worked a little.

Attached is some color info I thought you'd enjoy. I'd tell you where it came from but I can not remember and didn't put a note with it when I saved it in a life a long time ago (for that I apologize). I always questioned one thing I heard about a color though. It is that Pepto Bismol Pink is calming. I get the brain wave thing but it really only makes me want to puke! I'll stick with the Orange.


Our personal and cultural associations affect our experience of color. Colors are seen as warm or cool mainly because of long-held (and often universal) associations. Yellow, orange and red are associated with the heat of sun and fire; blue, green and violet with the coolness of leaves, sea and the sky. Warm colors seem closer to the viewer than cool colors, but vivid cool colors can overwhelm light and subtle warm colors. Using warm colors for foreground and cool colors for background enhances the perception of depth.

Although red, yellow and orange are in general considered high-arousal colors and blue, green and most violets are low-arousal hues, the brilliance, darkness and lightness of a color can alter the psychological message. While a light blue-green appears to be tranquil, wet and cool, a brilliant turquoise, often associated with a lush tropical ocean setting, will be more exciting to the eye. The psychological association of a color is often more meaningful than the visual experience.

Colors act upon the body as well as the mind. Red has been shown to stimulate the senses and raise the blood pressure, while blue has the opposite effect and calms the mind.
People will actually gamble more and make riskier bets when seated under a red light as opposed to a blue light. That's why Las Vegas is the city of red neon.

For most people, one of the first decisions of the day concerns color harmony. What am I going to wear? This question is answered not only by choosing a style and fabric appropriate to the season, but by making the right color choices. And it goes on from there. Whether you're designing a new kitchen, wrapping a present or creating a bar chart, the colors you choose greatly affect your final results.

How often have you caught your breath at the sight of a flower bed in full bloom? Most likely the gardener has arranged the flowers according to their color for extra vibrancy. Have you ever seen a movie in which a coordinated color scheme helps the film create a world unto itself? With a little knowledge of good color relationships, you can make colors work better for you in your business graphics and other applications.

Color is light and light is energy. Scientists have found that actual physiological changes take place in human beings when they are exposed to certain colors. Colors can stimulate, excite, depress, tranquilize, increase appetite and create a feeling of warmth or coolness. This is known as chromodynamics.

Now that I'm sure you have figured all of this out you better get out there and get your color scheme's perfect. Your chromodynamics are counting on it!!!!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

I have a list of about a dozen things I'd like to try - the lists for things I'm working on is even larger. I've decided that the universe is going to shine it's incomparable light in my direction tomorrow and all that I can conceive of will materialize. Yup, that's what's going to happen. I'll keep you informed.

Happy May Day!