Special Deliveries! January 29, 2007 I got a lot of goodies in the mail today from the Valentine’s Day swap. It was great to come home to lots of presents in the mail and the countdown to start opening is almost done… just a couple more days. I also got my book delivery from Amazon so I’ll have a couple of new ones to add to the growing stack on the nightstand. Taking the train into downtown has really been a great way to save gas but the the 45 minute ride each way definitely lets me get in some great reading time! Feeling Better January 26, 2007 I’ve been sick with a sinus infection all week and had to pull some long days at work so this has not been the best week. I’m happy to say that I’m feeling better and really happy that it’s Thursday night! My friend Bo ventured into downtown to join me for lunch today so that definitely helped to perk up an an otherwise icky work day. I finished reading this book on the train today so if you like urban fantasy I really recommend it. The next book in the series is on it’s way now. I’m taking a break from my normal cozy mysteries and travel books although the Beatrix Potter series by Susasn Wittig Albert are great and I just finished the third book. Her China Bayles series is set in the Texas Hill Country and the characters are wonderful and amazing that you get drawn in and imagine that Pecan Springs could be a real place you’d love to pack up and move to (unless you really know what the temperature would be in the summer!). We need to get some un-fun stuff done around the house this weekend like dusting, cleaning the bathrooms, etc but we plan to work in a few fun things – maybe a movie, catch up on some of the movies we need to watch here and definitely some art on the list. I promise more exciting posts in the future when I’ve rested up and got some art done. Gifts for Valentine’s Swap January 22, 2007 These are my wrapped gifts for the Valentine’s swap… I’m pushing the deadline but I made it. The gifts have already started rolling in and I’m excited for February when we can tear in. 🙂 Snow Day Today January 18, 2007 We got a surprise snow day today with the ice and snow that fell this morning. It was definitely great and we took advantage of it by making stew and watching daytime television! I also worked on my charms for the Valentine’s swap… I’m a little behind because my fairly simple project got a little complicated. I’m also fending of a cold/illness that’s been trying to come on for a couple of weeks but I woke up with the scratchy throat that’s now a major sore throat and the beginnings of a cough. I’m ignoring the body aches and chills hoping they’ll go away. This is not going to end well. 🙁 I made reservations at Ruth’s Chris for Sat to celebrate hubby’s new job so I’m really hoping to hold off on any major symptoms until after that. This is the charm I made for the 12 Days of Xmas swap. I never posted the pics of my gift since it was a surprise but here it is. The finished piece and the collage by itself. The idea was to make something to help remind everyone of the 12 Days Swap “club”. It was a lot of fun and the Valentine’s swap has been great also. These are some amazing and talented artists and Lelainia has done a fantastic job organizing everything as well as doing a wonderful job of wrangling us! Sorry about the inadvertent quiet time. January 15, 2007 Last week was just a rough week and I got home from week wiped out with very little in the way of inspiration for art. I’m hoping to get my wind back though. My friend Lara came over yesterday and we made some jewelery and munched on snacks while the weather turned ugly out. Lara headed home early since she lives quite a bit away from us but it was nice girly afternoon. My husband built us a nice fire which we crafted by and enjoyed cheese fondue voodoo- courtesy of an Alton Brown recipe (add some Parmesan cheese to make it perfect), fruit, cheese, hummus, guacamole, salsa, etc. It was a perfect Sat afternoon followed up by a trip to the bookstore and Mexican food for dinner so all in all – a perfect Saturday! It’s freezing cold again today and the trees are covered in ice but the roads aren’t icy or anything so that’s great. It turns out that mostly people don’t know that so every time we’ve ventured out we’ve had the roads and stores to ourselves! 🙂 Rolland starts his new job tomorrow and is allowing himself plenty of travel time. I get the day of for MLK day and am celebrating with a massage, my first, courtesy of a gift certificate hubby bought me during a stressful period a few weeks back so I’m very excited. I’m planning to rest up and then get started on V-day cards and finish up my charms for a swap… I promise to do better with the posting so you can plan on seeing pics of the cards. I can’t post pics of the charms until after the swap but I’ll get a pic up of the charm from the 12 Days of Xmas swap exchange. I don’t think I ever posted what I made for that one. p.s. If you look at the margin on the right you’ll notice I added a section for my friends and some blogs I check out regularly. There’s a few more I need to add but this was just a start. I was inspired after having dinner with a friend of mine the other night who’s encouraging me to study more design, photoshop, flash, etc. It’s something I want to do but have been kind of hesitant about it. Turns out I was being extremely silly about my blog – this update really was as easy as copy and paste! 🙂 I just need to go ahead and take some classes and realize somethings will be difficult and tricky but others won’t. That’s the fun part. Tile Box January 9, 2007 This is a piece I just finished for a friend of mine. We went to Portland for Art & Soul last year and she loved Laurie Mika’s pieces but couldn’t quite manage it at the time but she knew I had taken a class and hinted that a homemade gift would work great for birthdays or Christmas. 🙂 This is a small-medium size box I washed in gold and stamped around the bottom and then covered the top in clay tiles. The frame tile has a glass bubble with her initial… hopefully she likes it. She can always use an extra jewelry box. We share the love of jewelry, there’s a good reason we’re friends! My studio is a disaster so I worked on this project in stages in the kitchen and living room and a clean up is in order. I need to get moving on my Valentine’s swap and a scrap book I’ve been commissioned to make for a friend of ours who is also a co-worker of my husband’s. It’s pretty straight-forward but I need to focus and really do a terrific job for her so I definitely need to do some tidying, straightening and serious arranging. I get sidetracked by the sparklies though! I’m hoping for fabulous inspiration and art to be created while getting a clean studio… this is my dream. As always, I’ll keep you posted on the results. Happy Monday! Triptych Collage for my Parents January 5, 2007 This piece was a gift I made for my parents for Christmas. I had to hold of on posting until post holidays but I was really happy with how it turned out. There are a lot of little pieces in it that are specific to them. Hopefully they like it – they seemed to so that was nice. 🙂 We’ve got big cleaning plans at our house this weekend including the plan to put the last of the holiday stuff away which is always a little sad but since we didn’t do the complete top to bottom decorating it shouldn’t be as big of a production as some years! Hopefully we can work in some movie time or something fun. I have a few art projects I want to work on but nothing too pressing. Valentine’s Day is approaching I’m participating in a swap that should be a lot of fun. It’s like the 12 Days of Xmas swap so there should be lots of goodies to share! Happy New Year! January 1, 2007 We had a big New Year’s Eve of snacking on junk food and watching CSI re-runs. I think we finally caved and went to bed around 10 which is fairly typical in our house – even for New Year’s Eve. When your normal day starts around 5am it’s a hard schedule to break! It’s been a really nice 3 day weekend with lots of puttering around the house and getting some of the smaller errands done… nothing major although the hubby did finally get his work bench built out in the garage/shop. That’s a major accomplishment given that it was pretty chilly here yesterday. The puppies and I stayed nice and cozy by the fire. I think we’re planning for more of the same today – maybe a few more snacks and maybe a movie. Saturday I went shopping with my friend Gwen and used up some Christmas gift certificates. We scored a few cute tops and Gwen got a really great top/lounge sweater. We followed this up with lunch and a trip to the huge Half-Price books on Northwest Highway then a check-in at the Border’s. (One of my gift certificate surprises was a post-Christmas present from Rolland for trip to the Spa. I’ve never actually had a massage or facial and he figured the stress of the last month means I’m due – I’m trying to figure out if I should stretch it out into several smaller treatments or blow it on two major treatments – this was the major topic of lunch :O). We had a really wonderful girly Saturday afternoon. I did get some art work done working on polymer clay tiles – it was even worth the complaints from the husband that I was killing us all with the tiles in the oven – and finished up this that necklace I’ve been working on for about a week. This one took longer since the beads are smaller and we’ve had a lot of distractions. I’ve actually had this charm made for a couple of months but just now got around to finishing the piece. It’s a little of season but, it’s still a fun necklace that I think I’ll wear all year round! The beads are German 40’s-ish that I got at a flea market and love the sparkle. I’m off to pick up the house a little so I can enjoy doing nothing else in peace for the rest of the day. Happy New Year!