Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Finally fluffing up around here...

Well, I finally sat down and fluffed up this blog! I've been meaning to work on it and finally took the time today! It feels much better having a little color and a picture in my header! Something must have changed in Blogger, because when I tried to put a picture in my header when I started this blog (February 29th), we kept messing around with the size and it still was too big. Gave up! Tried again today and there is a new button that will shrink your picture to size! I stumbled around and got the buttons I needed for the Pink Artist Drawing up and the Comfort Doll Project that I just contributed to. A little satisfaction! ;-)

I have been working these past few weeks...not sitting around eating chocolates!!! ;-) I did finish a Dotee doll for a friend and got a package sent that was overdue! In my excitement of putting it together, I forgot to take a picture of the Dotee that I included for her! I told her that I forgot and she kindly sent me a picture with her hanging on this beautiful hand mannequin! I beaded the batik fish in silver lined 15's (blue, green, and silver), used 2 mm Swarovski Crystal AB for the eye's, topped her hair with abalone shell flower beads with the 2 mm AB crystals, and strung the top and bottom with 4 mm AB crystal and light blue crystal with a sterling silver seahorse hanging on the bottom. It was so fun to put together another box of goodies and have another thing on my wish list accomplished!

I still am working diligently on other beading projects which I wish I could share...but I will when they are on their way to their owners. I also am going to start working on a few gifts for the Pink Artist Drawing next week! I will share these as soon as they are done.

I feel like I've been neglecting my blog and I have...somewhat! The sun is beginning to shine here, finally, and my yard, my garden, the blue sky, the warmth of the sun, the birds and critters...are all calling me!!! I can tell that summer will be my slowest time to post because I eat up the warmth we get in the summer in Oregon!!! ;-) It rains a lot in the Pacific Northwest, so when the weather turns is a big thing!!! We all get out and enjoy everything Oregon is about! So I want you to know...I'm not ignoring you!!! I'm just probably soaking up some warmth...tending to my garden and weeds...listening to the birds...watering my yard, visiting the river...having great BBQ dinners on the deck with husband, family, and friends...listening to music...and beading outside, as often as I can, where I can enjoy the fresh sky...and all the sights and sounds! ;-)

Come take a walk with me and I'll share some of my yard with you and you can see what is blooming now...

A good friend stopped by for a cool drink in the 'three graces' fountain!

Rock rose and a bee!

Black and blue salvia...the Hummingbirds love these!

Tiger lilies in bloom...

And my old sign that I painted years ago that I still love...even though I can think of all different ways I'd do it now...;-)

I had a special mail week too! I will share that with you soon! Right now I need to get myself prepared because I have Jury Duty tomorrow!!! Hopefully, I will get LUCKY and they won't be interested in me! I'll talk to you soon...if I survive!

Hope you are enjoying some sunshine and the nature that is around you!!! We are in for high 90's this weekend!

~Keep Pursuing Art...Life and Dreams!


Friday, June 13, 2008


Well, I was tagged by Bobbi for this meme...and I apologize Bobbi for not doing it immediately! However, I do thank you for thinking of me! I put it off for awhile because I wanted to get the last post up first. I didn't want you girls thinking I've just been sitting around eating chocolates all day! ;-)

1. What was I doing 10 years ago?

Ten years ago, I was forty years old, a wife, and mom to my two boys who were 16+ and 10+ years old. I worked full-time as a bookkeeper for a union concrete construction company doing payroll, payables, general ledger, and union reports. This was the first job I've had that I was not working in the medical field (other than when I was very young). My youngest was playing baseball and basketball and my oldest played football and had his brand new license to drive. We bought another puppy to join our family and be friends with our dog that was a year old. My husband and I took a vacation alone that year on our anniversary (21 yrs) to Mazatlan, Mexico. We had not been on a vacation alone (on a plane) for ten years and that was to Hawaii! As a matter of fact, we have not been on a plane together since then! We lived in the home we do now. That year, I would garden and needlepoint whenever I could.

The most difficult thing about this year...was that it was the beginning of the most heartbreaking and downhill journey of my mom's last few years with Multiple Sclerosis. She went from walking, to a cane, to using a walker, to being in a wheelchair this year...that fast. She was paralyzed from the waist down at this point. She had a full-time day nurse at home that took care of her. She had six hospital stays, and three surgeries (one being a colostomy that she asked to have done because of her pride). To say the least, this was a difficult time. My days were long. I was a mother, a wife, a daughter, an employee, and helped take care of my mom and just be there with her after work or on the weekend when I could. I spent a lot of time at the hospital too. This was just the beginning of three years of heartache and pain until my mom passed away January 18, 2001. During this time, wearing all these hats, I did my best to wear a smile on my face and be strong for everyone...even though my heart was breaking.

2. Five things on today's to-do list?

Get this post accomplished! ;-)
Catch up on e-mail and see what you are up to
Fluff up around a few bills
Go outside and breathe some fresh air, it is sunny today!
Bead (maybe outside) ;-)
...Keep thinking about how to fluff up this blog of mine and about the 2008 BJP!

3. Snacks I enjoy?

Crackers and Cheese (Cheddar - medium and sharp, Swiss, Pepper Jack, Asiago
Blueberries, cherry & grape tomatoes, snap peas...right out of the garden when strolling
Chips and Salsa
Nuts - Lightly Salted (all kinds with peanuts being my least favorite)
Dill pickles
Frozen Fruit Bars - especially late in the evening
and I still scoop a spoon right out of the Peanut Butter jar when the craving hits

4. Things I'd do if I were a billionaire?

Buy a huge piece of property and build the perfect one-level home for us. A big garage for Mark and a big, light filled, art studio for me with lots of storage! Build two more homes for our kids and build one more home for friends. Of course, all green, wind turbines, water tower, etc. It would be self sufficient. We would even farm there. We would give many charitable contributions to worthy causes and help family and friends. Do something special with and for my sister. Basically we could do anything we wanted to do with no money worries. Beads...lots of shopping for beads, fabric, and books! ;-) We would take our boys and go on a great family trip! We would travel some and have a second home...location to be determined. Wow, what else could you do with a BILLION dollars? It is fun to dream!!!

5. Places I have lived?

Portland, Oregon - born and raised
Lake Oswego, Oregon
Wilsonville, Oregon
Tualatin, Oregon
West Linn, Oregon
Milwaukie, Oregon

I am a native Oregonian!

6. People I want to know more about?

Well, I told Bobbi this is going around like wildfire and I don't know who else to pick that hasn't already been tagged. But in checking around...I came up with a couple girls that I don't think have been tagged. If you don't want to do this...don't feel pressured to do it! It is only for fun and for all of us to get to know one another better! If you are willing to participate, that means you answer the same questions as I have and then tag 4 to 6 more people! I know you three girls will certainly be able to do better than I could and keep the fire burning! ;-)

Pat Winter of Gatherings
Cathie of Clevelandgirlie
Tammy of Crooked Heart Art

I hope everyone has a nice weekend!!!

Monday, June 9, 2008

A Chorus Line!

I finally finished and mailed a bakers dozen to Pat for the Comfort Doll Project this past Thursday! As you know, Pat collects and sends these dolls to women's shelters across the U.S. I felt it was a great cause and something I certainly could help with and contribute to! I hope this small gift brings a smile and warms the heart of those that receive them. I hope it will remind them that they are special people, someone is thinking of them, and that there is hope and love out in this world! The Comfort Doll Project is not quite a year old and Pat has sent 22 dozen and soon to be 23 dozen dolls out into the world! I told Pat that I thought she was an 'angel' to organize such a worthy and thoughtful project! I have to admit that I learned two lessons! What I thought would be...just whipping them up and the time it takes me to 'whip up' are two different things! And, never tell someone that you think they'll be on their way in a couple weeks!!! I apparently have "overzealous" written across my forehead!

I was disappointed in my pictures...too dark and I didn't really capture any bead work on the bodies. Our weather has been cloudy and raining for a couple weeks and I took these outside because usually that's where I get the best lighting. Not this time! I do think that we need to make a light box and play around with the camera! Capturing beads and their colors, I'm finding, is not always very easy. And, these little gals kept turning and moving in the breeze. I kept telling myself to hurry up before it starts raining, which it began to sprinkle as I was putting them back in their box! Not the best photo session!

This is the sky that was looming over us at the time! Our weather has not been pleasant these past few weeks! Cooler than normal and wet! We managed to till and get our garden in a week ago, but barely...the soil has been so wet. The plants are spreading their roots but they are all just sitting idle waiting for the sunshine! Usually we plant our garden Mother's day weekend but not this year. It has been unseasonably cool. It even snowed six inches this past week on Mt. Hood! Our rivers are brimming and the cottonwood is flying. It is 56 degrees, cloudy and raining right now. Oh man, will it be nice when the sunshine sticks around!!!

Some flowers in my yard that are blooming here now! At least my flowers bring cheeriness and brightness when it is so gray! ;-)

This handsome man is my youngest son, Spencer, who just bought a new motorcycle on Saturday! He drove home to come show it off! Oh, the nervousness and worry in your heart watching your son on a bike! GULP!!! I reminded him, I'm sure too many times for his liking, with a big hug and kiss to be safe...this isn't like falling down and skinning his knee and that mom and dad want him around!!! Along with all the other reminders...I'm sure he was ready to get out of here! But he knows how much we LOVE him!!! The one good thing will be gas savings!

Well, I've rambled on long enough and am off to complete a few more projects! I've been tagged by Bobbi at Beading at the Beach and will post that in a little bit! Have a good week!