Monday, April 15, 2013

Finding Cool Clothes (or Alfred Dunner Hell)

Being a "plus" size woman, I first need to find the appropriate department in a "Big Box" store.  Once found, I usually shake my head at the location: between Petites and Fitness (at least at my Macy's and Kohl's) - it's usually tucked in the back corner of the store, by returns.  Whose bright marketing idea was that?

Once looking through the racks and being struck smack in the face with "Alfred Dunner" hell:  Oh gods, I hate those clothes....
I understand that some women love these clothes - I must not have those genes 
  • Embroidered necklines (how the heck can someone wear an art necklace with this neckline??)
  • Elastic waist tapered pants (and sadly I know someone who still wears these?)
  • Caribbean resort wear with drinks or flamingos
  • Horizontal stripes - in plus size clothes?  WTF?  (Just stab me in the eye)
  • Embroidered kittens chasing butterflies on the front of the sweatshirt with the picot lace on the collar
  • Stripes with an overlaying print
  • Flowered necklines
Why is it so hard to find cool, artsy clothes at a reasonable price for women?

I have found a few items here and there that are funky and hip.  With a tagword of "lagenlook" I have found some really nice ideas to look for.
In one of my fav pieces, I wore it on a cruise and at a graduation ceremony (and I am still shorter than Dr. Salami) and now to work on a regular basis
The above tunic is from one of my favorite places right now is from Coco and Juan - reasonable cost and quality that will wear well - but at the price, I can replace it in a couple of years.

What are some of your favorite place to shop for fun, funky, reasonably priced clothing? 

Friday, April 12, 2013

Beading by the Bay part Dieux

Beading by the Bay was and will continue to be one of the highlights of 2013.  I have wonderful memories and I am so fortunate to be part of this great groups of beaders (even though Huib Petersen's class kicked my beading butt).  In the evenings, as I sit in my studio and bead after 9 hours at the hospital, my eyes are distracted by some of the goodies that we received at the retreat.

Books!  We received books again this year from Lark Publishing - one was "Making Wire & Bead Jewelry:  Artful Wirework Techniques."  I was so excited when I saw this book that I might have squealed outloud.  Another book was Ray Hemachandra's "Showcase 500 Beaded Jewlery" which is part of the 500 series.  I especially like this book because I know so many wonderful artists who are featured in this book and a good handful were at the BBTB. Now if I would have remembered to have them sign their pieces in the book, this would become a priceless part of my book collection, however, I thought of that when I got home. It’s a wonderful book and I love it.

The door prizes donated by Swarovski Elements are wonderful. I received a set of six boxes of Swarovski collections – elements that work together by color or texture. It’s so wonderful that I am just looking at everything now – not even using them. But I will. I can’t let these crystals sit in boxes for years. They would get so lonely.  Spread on the tables at the dessert reception was an array of wonderful crystals of all sizes, shapes, colors and oh, the sparkle….

At our table, we were very organized and polite about it. To make the magic last even longer, we took turns picking out what we like and wanted. First we put what we coveted in front of each of us. It was easy as we all wanted something different. I wanted two oval crystals that will be a pair of earrings in the near future. Cyn wanted some pearls. So Cyn, Jules, Dot, Sharon, Sue, Beki and I all picked our favorites out of what was on the table – other beaders were laughing at us, but we enjoyed it and had fun.

The final picture is of the "Wild Girls" as Marcia has called us or the "G'nomes" that Cyn Bicker has named us. I used photoshop to add Dot to the picture (as she was behind the camera but belongs in it). From the left - Sue, Liz, Lisa, Cyn, Sharon (barely visible), Beki (hiding), Jules, and Dot

Not to change the subject, but  BBTB and BBTB are the same.  One is “Beading By the Bay” and the other is “Bitchen’ Biker Turkey Buzzards” which has been a beading group on the internet for more than 10 years. Is this a coincidence? Or pre-determined by the gods? Ancient Alien connection? Perhaps a little of all of the above….

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

How do we get where we are at?

Have you ever wondered how you got to where you are in life? How little decisions can change the whole path of who you are and where you are now and where you might be going. Behind the knowing where you are going, is the trail of how you got to where you are now.
Me? I work at a hospital, I get to tell doctors what to do (sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t – that’s their path and I need to stop worrying about what they do). I also create art with tiny little pieces of glass, crystal and thread. How did I get here? Let’s see if I can trail back through my life to the beginning of me. Let’s say to the beginning of the adult me – prior to that, much (but not all) of your life decision are made by your parents.
Beads? I picked up beads because one day at the hospital, one of the doctors came up and showed me how to make earrings. I said to myself “if she can do that…”, the rest is history. Because of the beads, I joined the Great Lakes Beadworkers Guild. Because of the guild, I have met some really good friends and instructors who have become friends (Marcia, Janice, Tracy, Cyn, Dot, Sue, Sharon, and so many others). Because of the guild, I met Marcia DeCoster who has become a good friend, a perfect mentor and has pushed me (sometimes kicking and screaming) to become a designer, instructor and mentor to others.

How did I end up at Henry Ford Hospital? While working at a hospital in Pontiac, MI, I became friends with one of the Merck drug company reps – Mark. Mark was a really good guy and told me about a job opening at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. I applied for that job and started working in the infectious diseases clinic. 6 months after working there (and bored), the position opened in the Internal Medicine Residency – again I applied and I was hired.

Lisa, Liz and Dr. Mario Njeim

Alan? Because of a series of less than successful romances, I put in a singles ad in a small rag called “Less Than a 10 Singles” – I received dozens of letters and met 4 of the men. Although Alan started out as bachelor #4, he is #1 right now.

How did I get a job at a hospital? Because I left my first husband (the practice husband) after moving back to Michigan from Germany and I needed a job. A friend told me about an opening at Mount Carmel Mercy Hospital in Detroit and I applied for the position in the Internal Medicine Residency program and was hired. I learned that I love working with doctors – especially residents. After a couple of years, I was transferred to another position due to cut backs and I hated that job. I then applied for, was hired and transferred to St. Joseph Mercy Hospital doing the job that I love – with the boss from Mount Carmel coming there 3 months after I transferred.

Dr. Mayank Shah and I at Mount Carmel Hospital
  I had a military life? Because I married my first husband while he was stationed in Germany, I worked for the military as a civilian. I did love living overseas, and might have stayed if the opportunity presented itself.

My father, myself, Tim and my brother Jim in a Tube stop in London
Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany
How I met my first husband? Because I went to my 5th year high school (Go Redford) reunion and he sat at a table with all women (okay, he’s not going to pass that opportunity up). My friend Lori told me he was an ass and to ignore him. I never listened to Lori.
How did I go to the reunion with Lori? Because I was dating a guy who was pissed that I was going and he wasn’t – even though he was asked to go with me, he didn’t want to. Sadly he was killed in a robbery at a gas station in Detroit a few years ago. RIP Adel.

How did I happen to start dating that guy? Again, because of Lori, who was dating his roommate at the time. She suggested that we go to a concert (and I didn’t know that HE was going) – it was Journey or Rod Stewart at Joe Louis Arena. We had dated previously, talked about getting married, but broke up and Adel married another woman.
So, if I hadn’t been dating Adel, he wouldn’t have gotten mad that I was going to my reunion with Lori, and I wouldn’t have met Tim and married him, moved to Germany. Then, I wouldn’t have divorced him, gotten a job in a hospital, met and married Alan. Nor would I have met a doctor who made earrings who put that statement in my head “I can do that”.
Who knows where I would be right now?  I could be putting crochet tops on dish towels.
Daring, eh?  Showing a little leg.

Monday, April 01, 2013

Beading By The Bay 2013

I enjoyed myself at Beading by the Bay 2012 so much, I knew immediately that I was going to sign up again for 2013.  I managed to talk three good friends into going with me which made it even more special.

Dot. Sharon and Sue
 Sue and I had an adventure in even getting to San Francisco.  I was printing the boarding passes when I noticed that the date was changed.  TO THE DAY THAT I WAS PRINTING THEM!  Once I convinced Sue that I wasn't kidding and that we were flying out in 4 hours, we raced to the airport, got through security, and found our gate.  Whew, we made it!  Wait - flight is delayed.  Now we have time for dinner, but we might not make our connecting flight at Denver.  Snow storm coming so we decide to get out of Detroit and deal with Denver.  Once at Denver, we run like OJ Simpson ( ) in an airport commericals to make our connecting flight.

You know when you are sitting on a plane and waiting and waiting and waiting and finally those last passengers get on the plane (and they are looking frazzled) - that was Sue and I.  We didn't even have seat assignments.  Sue was placed in row 1 while I ended up in row 176.  I don't think it was quite that bad, but it was at the back end of the plane.  Whew, we made it.... Even more amazing?

Our luggage made it.

Of course the next morning, we are up at the crack of dawn, because we are still on an east coast clock.  After double checking that we indeed were in California, with our luggage, we sighed a deep sigh and started vacation.

Later that day, Dot Lewellyn from Columbus, OH and Sharon Hessoun from Tuscon, AZ flew in and the group was complete.  We had a nice lunch and dinner in Burlingame, CA, lots of laughs and chuckles and then to sleep!

Off in the morning to wipe things off my bucket list and during our two days of touring, we saw so much:  San Francisco, Golden Gate bridge, Chinatown, Cable Cars, Sea Lions at Fisherman's Wharf, and more.  What a whirlwind of excitement

Following our days of being a tourist, we buckled down to our main objective - Beading by the Bay.  Marcia and Susan put on such a nice retreat.  We had three great instructors this year; Marcia (of course), Huib Petersen and Sabine Lippert with some beautiful classes.  It's just a chuckle-fest.  It was nice seeing faces of persons that I met last year and hopefully will again next year.