Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year! We enjoyed a nice holiday in Cincinnati and Columbus, visiting friends and family. We got reacquainted with the fabulous Andrew Bawidaman, who makes the best pin-up art around ( his work was recently published in a collection of erotic art, a book called Ars Erotica ( Picasso and Kandinsky are in it!). It was fun reminiscing about our college days.

Azalea and I had fun frogging around with my good friend Jessica Wiesel (known as Weasel to her buddies). She is so brilliant, we have a good time just talking and bouncing ideas around. I wish she lived in Asheville.

My folks came up from Florida for a few days to see Azalea. She and my mom get along supremely well, so much so that this morning, at dawn she woke up looking for her Lula, as she calls my mama, and wouldn't stop looking and crying until I told her we would visit next week. I like that she loves my mom so much, but some primitive part of my brain gets jealous; when Gramma Lula is around, nobody else exists!

We have been working to catch up on work that has accumulated over the holidays, so we are back to being busy, which is good, because I hate feeling like a slacker! I made a few new beads, and sketched in my book, I'll post some pics to show my progress.

I'm shaking off some bad juju, trying to clear my mind of negativity. The holidays make me miss my older bro who's been missing for sixteen years. It puts into sharp focus the importance of being good to each other and not holding grudges - you might not see that person ever again. Which leads me to another source of agitation, folks snooping in my personal files on my lap top. I don't mind someone getting on the internet, but looking through personal files? That's rude. And disrespectful, like looking through someone's purse. I don't want to hold onto that anger (though I think some part of me is largely vindictive and is even now plotting revenge). I'm going to look at it as though I've just been educated about boundaries.

Greg ordered The Absolute Sandman for me! I love Neil Gaiman, but never read his comics, so I'm excited. I think Stardust is one of my all time favorites. American Gods is amazing - disturbing and exciting. I want to send him a bunch of my beads with a note proclaiming my admiration for his skills, his use of imagery, etc.,etc., but don't want to sound like I'm a stalker. Or a lunatic fan that wants to be his best friend, although the latter wouldn't be too far off the mark.

Azalea is asleep, exhausted after a rough and tumble visit to the mall playland. She is so nice, letting other kids go ahead of her on the slide, making sure they know to hold on. She is also extremely fast and hard to see in a crowd; let me just say I nearly had a heart attack when I saw her running away from the playland and into the mall, dissappearing around a corner. Needless to say we left directly, with lots of lecturing on the importance of staying near mama.

Well, I got some reading to do, have a good one!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

I've taken a break from staring at my laptop for hours on end, googling so often my dreams looked like search results - good dreams consisting of me finding perfect, informative websites that inspired and delighted. So, I took a break and crafted like never before! I made a doll for Azalea, that has taken almost a week of sewing and stuffing (and ripping out stitches) to complete. I think it looks really good. I got the pattern from I also ordered a book called 'wee folk' a pattern book for making tiny wire dolls. We've had friends over a lot this past couple of weeks, crafting till late at night. It has been loads of fun! Azalea helped rolling out polymer with the new pasta machine (I won't be making any lasagna with this aparatus!). We blended so many new colors, I think we did that for 2 days straight. I tried making canes, mokume gane slabs, and mirror beads - I have a new appreciation for all those polymer artists!

I got started on polymer after looking at a miniature artists work I found online, Angie Scarr, who makes the most amazing tiny things! I couldn't believe how detailed she could make an orange 1/12 scale! You could see individual segments! I immediately wanted to make miniature food. Look at her stuff, and feel the desire to become tiny and live in a dollhouse, .

We have never been this busy with orders! We found more of our pieces in the Special Issue of Bead Style Magazine! I wondered why Greg was working till 10 at night! It still hasn't slowed down this close to christmas, which it usually has in the past. Not complaining, we love it!

Kiwi, one of our lovebirds, had blood on the base of his feathers, and I freaked out and took him to the vet. They tested him for diseases and he's fine, apparently he is doing it to himself. I've been giving him meds and he has stopped. I guess he was itchy with new feathers and groomed a little too vigorously (he's completely fastidious!). My powder blue parrotlet Mochie gets so worked up every time I give him his meds! So jealous! I love my bird babies.

I just read Claudine's blog and noticed she tagged me to name 6 weird things about myself that people don't know, I could name far more, but I don't want to give the game away.

1. I'm catastraphobic. I obsess over the destruction of our civilization as we know it, terrified of not having hot water, refrigeration and online shopping. The mere mention of anthrax and Im hunting for my gas mask. The books 'Into the Forest' and the 'The Stand' gave me nightmares.

2. I'm super envious of anyone that can sing.

3. I love to work in absolute silence.

4. I like being alone and not talking for days and days...which happens very rarely.

5. I LOVE dried cuttlefish and shrimp chips as a snack, and could easily polish off a large bag in ten minutes.

6. I would rather look at seed pods than most fine art.

So, I guess I'm supposed to tag someone else to divulge their weird secrets. I think my bro and my buddy Tony Blackwell at should have to next.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Here's a picture of Andrew and Azalea at the park, getting ready to play in the massive playground after our Thanksgiving feast.
We put up the x-mas tree today, Azalea loved helping with the ornaments. It will probably stay up until june.
Today we received news today that we will be the featured artists in BeadWork Magazine spring issue! We are ecstatic, it's such a good magazine - loads of projects that one would actually do (I find lately that many bead publications focus on seed bead crafts, but how many people do you know have time to bead a christmas ornament?) I love Jewelry Arts, but again, really flippin' time consuming! I make a lot of the projects in Stringing - I think it is definitly the most fashion forward one of all. Anyway, we are sooo happy! The last article we were in (Bead and Button 04) really helped our business, allowing us to expand and try new things, like shibuichi casting.

Here are my new earth shoes. They are now extremely comfortable (after intense stretching around the gathered part). So, my walks are a little more strenuous now.

My darling sleeping with 'Roby' (the tattered bit of purple fabric in the background, which I've slept with since I was born!) I hope 'he' lives forever.

Monday, December 04, 2006

These are a few fast paintings I made incorporating layering and pen and ink. I've been trying different styles, but I think I am stuck with the whole foreground, middleground and background theme. Andrew is a whiz at collage and making atmospheric paintings full of textures and subtle coloring. I've been trying to acheive the same depth, and I'm too impatient with all the waiting for things to dry and cutting bits of paper...just give me tempera and I'll be happy. I just like being able to do everything I like! Good luck.

This is an amulet
necklace I made a couple weeks ago. I like it. It puts me in mind of a shaman or medicine woman


Friday, December 01, 2006

Hello! We've had a sluggish couple of days. It's just Greg doing all the work right now (we are out of help at the moment) and I think he needs a break. We won't be able to go to Orlando this weekend because we got rear-ended last night and need to repair the van (and my neck! I still have a headache). A thousand apologies if you wanted to see our booth in Orlando! We will just play catch-up at home, we are still crazy busy with all the recent press and holiday shopping. I usually hate this time of year because of the traffic and trying to get the perfect gift for someone. I like making presents and I love receiving hand-made goods! I make things throughout the year, saving them for months until christmas. I'm making a limited edition ornament for gifts - I just have to finish it. This is an owl bead I started yesterday for Andrew (and anyone else who enjoys owls).
We watched The Fountain a few days ago, I liked it and was annoyed by it at the same time. Beautiful visuals, lovely theme, but really long. I could do without all the long close-ups. A great rental. I'm waiting for the season finale of Avatar:The Last Airbender, I know it will be satisfying, unlike the new Top Chef and other squabble fests. Stop talkin' and start cookin' for crying out loud! I'm done with them unless there's nothing else on. I love cooking and makeover shows for some reason, maybe its all the transformation going on.
I feel like I'm going through a change myself, trying to see myself as a writer as well as an artist. It seems like I just came to terms with seeing myself as an artist. I always felt that title belonged to more 'artsy' people. Folks that made a living from their art. When someone asks what I do (like today, when the stylist asked me if I had the day off - yes and no) I said I make beads and jewelry. I am really fortunate, I stay home with Azalea and make things while shes awake and write when she naps. I started Neil Gaiman's newest collection of short stories Fragile Things, its unexpected and rich, which is why he is my all time favorite. I'm also reading Susanna Clarke's collection The Ladies of Grace Adieu, which is like fairy tales by Jane Austin (how can you go wrong?).
I'm breaking in a pair of Earth shoes I got on They are weird because your heel is lower than your toes, making you stand up straight, burn more calories and eliminate cellulite! Wow, I hope they work. Their comfortable, with the exception of a tight spot I'm stretching out. I'm off, Avatar is coming on!