Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Thank you to my visitors

I have a tracker on my blog that shows me where my visitors come from. Just a shout out to my international visitors from (no particular order!):
United Kingdom
Yukon Territory (that's pretty far north and the only thing that I know about that area is from the CBC show "North of 60" that used to air)
Switzerland (been there)
Sweden (saw Sweden when I was in Denmark)
Singapore (Raymond, is that you?)
Germany (lived there for three years - who is the person from the Stuttgart area?)
Netherlands (been there - very cool B&B which served chocolate with the coffee)
France (been there)
S. Korea (Eun Sook, is that you?)

Welcome everyone!

Friday, April 18, 2008

April Bead Journal Project

April's bead journal project is a little harder emotionally than any I have done. This is for my brother. My brother, Jim, passed away four years ago from complications from his liver transplant (received in 1991). I acquired a piece of snakeskin that he cured a long time ago and it's been hanging on my bulletin board since shortly after his death. I thought that it was time that I do a piece for Jim.

I cut the snakeskin to basic triangle shapes to fit on the background and glued them down. I bezeled around a 1907 Indian Head penny that I am pretty certain that he provided to me at one time or another, and I have put the picot edging that I have on all my journal pages.

But I know that it's missing something and I just can't put my finger on it. Colour? Jim wasn't very colourful, but he appreciated the beauty of nature. He enjoyed being outside, loved camping, fishing, and hunting (at least until his body told him that he couldn't do it anymore). Jim collected coins and stamps also.

It's kind of interesting that Jim will be gone 4 years this summer and I think I have been more emotional about it in the last month than I have since shortly after his death. Hormones on my part? I don't know what it is (I'm sitting here with tears blinding my typing - good thing I know where the keys are) all about.

But back to my project - I am going to have to search through my stash of beads and find some that Jim would appreciate being on his own month - kind of makes him a calendar boy, eh?

p.s. April 20th - After thinking it over, I must have taken the picture and written about it for a reason. This piece is complete.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Thank you Mary.....

I’ve been challenged by Mary, from Bead Fluff with the following challenge. I haven’t really done many of these before, some small ones, but this is really going to make me think. For those of you that know me personally, you know that I am a pretty even tempered person, I do blow, but I don’t think that’s bad, because then I don’t hold it in an dwell on it…...

Let’s see what I come up with:

List one has to do with 5 strengths you have, for example persistence, courage, friendliness, creativity.

1. I am a loyal friend (as Mary said); I still have many friends from my earlier years. I try not to let them slip through the cracks.
2. I am creative. In fact I'm very creative. If that is a talent, then I need to face it.
3. I am usually pretty patient (or am I persistent?). I’ll explain the same thing to the same person multiple times. At work, I deal mostly with persons from other cultures, countries and religions and our “norms” are not there “norms” – it’s imperative for them to understand that to get along with nurses, patients and techs, they may have to bend from what they know into slightly unfamiliar territory. I hope that I help them.
4. I am willing to try almost anything once, usually twice (the first time could just have been a bad experience and it might require a “do-over” to see if I really didn’t like it). My most recent experience was that I have said for years that I don’t like pea soup with ham. My mother didn’t like it, didn’t make it for the kids, I never tried it. At a ham joint two weeks ago, the waitress heard me talking about that (this place serves ham sandwiches, ham breakfast and soup – that’s it) and brought me a cup to try. It’s one of those foods with a really strong colour – kind of scarey… I learned that it’s really, pretty tasty.
5. I am a strong person in a crisis situation. I usually don’t fall apart when the S**t hits the fan. I buckle down and I do what needs to be done. I don’t often hit the panic button.

Now list 5 things you admire about yourself.

1. I believe that I have become a pretty decent artist with this medium that has reached out and grabbed me. It doesn’t define me, but is a huge part of who I am and what I have become in the last 12-13 years.
2. This is pretty close to what Mary said about being an ear to those around me. I listen.
3. I believe that I can make people relax around me. This may be a reason why my home has become a regular meeting place for my group of beaders. It might actually be because I have a huge dining room table, but I bought the table so that we could actually fit more people around it. The friends were coming over before that, and I like to believe it’s because it’s a relaxed, come as you are atmosphere.
4. I am extremely tolerant of religious values and cultures which are not what I was raised with. I can count Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, and agnostics amongst my closest friends and will respect them completely. To this, I believe that my friends respect my beliefs (or lack there of) in return.
5. I love and I am loved.

Now list 5 of your greatest accomplishments in your life so far:

1. I married the perfect person for me. The fact that we connected through a singles ad still floors people.
2. I have been able to do a few things with my art – acceptance into Bead and Button (Feb 2007 and Aug 2008) Readers Gallery and the Downriver Council for the Arts (Nov 2007) gallery showing.
3. I have adopted and given a good life to two cats and two dogs. I wasn’t able to have kids, and this is what I ended up with. I’m happy with it.
4. I’ve taken a high school education, with some college and made a career out of what could just be a “job”. I am a Residency Program Coordinator for one of the largest Internal Medicine residency programs in the country. I work with training physicians who work around the country and around the world.
5. I had the courage to divorce my first husband, even though family tried to convince me to do otherwise. I walked away from him, a guaranteed retirement, health benefits, etc. Even when my mom passed away shortly after we separated, I didn’t go back to him.

List at least 10 other Accomplishments (okay, I changed it to 10):

1. I have a great relationship with my younger brother – and he actually likes my husband.
2. Growing old is something that I can’t change and I am working to embrace it. I may not like it, but the alternative sucks.
3. I can swear in multiple languages. I don’t know if it’s an accomplishment, but I can do it.
4. I've taught myself to sew.
5. I volunteer with the Great Lakes Beadworkers Guild in the Detroit area. I am currently the webmaster for the guild (which reminds me I still need to work on that one page).
6. I volunteer on a website that prepares foreign doctors on how to apply and interview for residency positions in the United States. Why do we need foreign doctors? There are many areas of the country where Americans don’t want to work and people need doctors.
7. I don't take offense quickly.
8. I'm hardly ever late.
9. I'm easily amused.

List 10 thing you do to treat or reward yourself, that don't include food or cost anything.

1. I curl in the bed with three dogs all trying to show that they love me.
2. I can see the beauty in a sunset; either in my backyard or on a trip.
3. Reading a new book, with one of the dogs in my lap.
4. I bake cookies for those I love.
5. Chatting with an old friend on the phone.
6. Watching the baby birds that are just learning to fly.
7. Counting the birds of prey that I see while in the car.
8. Sipping a cup of coffee on the patio in the morning on a summer day.
9. Chatting with new neighbors over the fence.
10. “Now Voyager” over and over and over.

List 10 things you could do to help someone else and make yourself feel good about yourself.

1. Give money to a friend who was unemployed for 10 months and not expect it back.
2. Give something I've made to someone who has said they would like to have one of my pieces of work.
3. Cook Korean food for my husband when he gets a taste for it.
4. Learn more than the bad words in a language.
5. Invite friends over.
10. LISTEN. Okay, I know that writing listen multiple times is a cop-out, but sometimes it’s more important to listen than it is to speak. Politicians should learn this.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Neuschwanstein Castle - seite drei

Und wir haben Schloss Neuschwanstein, with (mit) much (sehr) more of the castle (schloss) completed. This castle is being done in layers, with many of the towers being two (zwei) to four (vier) layers of interfacing thick. The towers (turm) that are not completed are a different layer than the brownish red charlottes that is in between them. The stone colour (farben) around the door (tur) is also a different layer. The outline that you see in red (rot) is placement lines for some of the trees (baum) that will be in front of the castle.
Not far from the castle is the great Bavarian town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, where I learned that I don't care for skiing on the Zugspitze. When you are skiing for the first time - yes, even on what they considered the "bunny hills" - and you fall; when instructors kick their skis off and come running to see how you are, you know that you should be really hurt (I was) and that you don't belong on skis. I spent the remainder of my ski week in the resturant "Sonn Alpin" with Colonel Check, drinking hot spiced wine and expressing our dislike for skiing.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Bead Journal Blogs

Do you know what I think that I might love the most about the Bead Journal Project? It might just be the links on all the other blogs, that carry me to other blogs, that link me to more blogs. Since joining Robin's project last summer, I have seen more cool beading throughout the world than I have seen before. When I get a block, I visit blogs. I see things. I see bead work that I wish that I had done first. I get inspired, I get refreshed. Okay and I do get jealous of the talent of all these wonderful women. Below is just a sample of some of the sites that I have seen (yes, I liberated this from another site - Arline has a great list of links on her page - I hope you don't mind that I did this).

AKP Beading
Another Country
Bead Inspired
Beader's View-Jen
Beading at the Beach
Beadnik's BJP Blog
Beads n fibers
Bits of Beads and Fibers
By Char
CC's Artblog
Confessions of a Bead Counter
Dulcey Heller
Enchanted Wolf Beading
Focus on Fiber
Freebird Sings
From the Magpie's Nest
Girl Gone Thread Wild
Grace Beading
Jann Beads
Kathy's BJP
Mountain Salt Studio
Nancy's Bead and Misc.
Phantasmagoric Peag
Quilts, beads and other such
Sassy Art Goddess
Serious Beader
The Lone Beader
The Wingedneedle's Nest
Wild Spirit-Jos

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

March Bead Journal Project

March! March is a month that is completely unpredictable in metro Detroit. It could be nice and sunny with beautiful temps or it can rain every day or it can snow the entire month. This March was pretty cold, with lots of snow; but we always celebrate the coming of spring. For my March Bead Journal project, I looked at the celebration of spring with my Goddesses that were designed by fellow Buzzard, Debb Pflanz. The background is a mix of vintage sequins and size 15 seed beads (and a few size 18 seeds).

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Neuschwanstein Castle - seite zweit

When I was taking art classes in high school, my work with perspectives sucked. As an adult, 30 years out of high school, my perspective still sucks. The difference is that I don't really care now. I love my castle. And my friend Sandy called me a "queen" today - she titled me the "Queen of size 15s" - although we all know that the title belongs to her.

When you go to Bavaria to see Schloss (Castle) Neuschwanstein, don't forget to stop in a nearby in nearby Linderhof to see another to the famous castles in the area.